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Pepsi-Cola Tried Way Too Hard To Be Cool

The folks over at PepsiCo. Inc. will have some reflecting to do this weekend. They will loosen their ties, kick off their Hush Puppies and try not to crack open a can of Diet Coke.

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For the first time, Pepsi-Cola lost the No. 2 spot in the soft fizzy drinks market to Diet Coke, selling 892 million cases last year versus almost 927 million for Diet Coke, according to Beverage Digest. Diet drinks are taking growth away from regular sodas, but that’s not the only reason. After all, last year Coca-Cola, the king of soda pop, sold 1.6 billion cases.

Pepsi-Cola has also had some significant hits and misses on the marketing front. For instance, PepsiCo’s Obama-like advertising in the early days of the current administration may have tried a little too hard to catch that particular wave.

Did Pepsi-Cola try to be too cool for school?

Most notably, the company capitalized on its patriotic red-white-and-blue logo with advertisements in bus stops and subway stations using the word “Hope,” synonymous with Obama’s presidential campaign. But PepsiCo’s flirtation with Obama does seem to have alienated at least some of the more sensitive Republican voters.

Here’s what one commentator said on The Wall Street Journal website: “We stopped buying Pepsi when they changed their logo to look more like the Obama campaign logo.”

An outlandish statement? Perhaps. But PepsiCo wanted to be relevant and catch the new cultural wave of youthful hope, but its popularity appears to have taken a hit along with President Obama’s approval ratings.

Meanwhile, Diet Coke advertised at the Academy Awards (and Pepsi-Cola didn’t). It’s cheesy, it’s sometimes painful to watch, but it’s one of the television events of the year. Coca-Cola has also been more successful in installing itself in restaurant soda fountains, which has been a huge boost to sales. Whether you prefer Coca-Cola or Pepsi, Coke is an intrinsically cool drink. PepsiCo executives must long for the day when a news story goes global again-and-again about someone claiming they have discovered their secret formula.

So has the soft drinks giant learnt its lesson? It has now decided to sponsor X Factor, the extremely popular talent competition in the U.K., and bump up its television advertising spending. It now plans to spend 30% more on beverage marketing this year.

“We have big plans for broadcast, but for other mediums as well,” PepsiCo spokesman Joseph Jacuzzi tells Pay Dirt.

Are you a diehard Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola fan? Or do you prefer Diet Coke?


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Comments (5 of 10)

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    • This SUCKS

    • let’s stick more to the topic.

    • Huge mistake changing their logo to associate so closely with Obama. He’s a big fat failure and Pepsi can now ride his coattails.

    • Frankly, I do not like either pepsi or coke no matter diet or not after I see some article about how the pepsi or coke is made. They are just some artificial ingredient with some water. I would rather drink beer. BTW, there are some very good home made beer starter kit on the website http://www.socialdealmap.com National tab on the left. It is fun to make something at home.

    • Honestly, I favor more Pepsi here in the U.S. , however outside of the U.S. only Coca Cola..

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