From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Pepsi (Pepsi-Cola) is a carbonated soft drink, and principal rival of Coca-Cola.
It was invented independently of Coca-Cola, but spent many years as a peripheral drink. It first achieved success by selling its drink in recycled beer bottles, which allowed it to sell larger bottles for lower cost than Coke. Pepsi thus became viewed as the soft drink of the lower classes. In the United States, Pepsi was viewed as the drink of blacks and in Canada it was viewed as the drink for francophones.
In the 1950s Pepsi poured great resources into trying to improve its image. It bought many televison ads and began its long tradition of employing celebrities to sell its product. It grew and became a serious rival of the Coca-Cola corporation, but was still firmly in second place.
In the 1960s, Pepsi originated the marketing strategy known as "The Pepsi Generation." This strategy was a constant repetitious advertising of Pepsi aimed at young people. It worked under the assumption that there are new consumers coming of age every day and if one stops marketing to the newest consumers, one will have a shrinking base of established consumers of one's product. With the aging of the baby boomer generation, the advertising of Pepsi changed into the drink that keeps your youth.
In the 1980s, Pepsi began a series of advertisements called the "Pepsi Challenge", in which it directly compared its product to that of Coca-Cola, showing that people preferred their product over the competitor's (and Coca-Cola's own research showed similar results). Coca-Cola, at that time, was suffering reduced sales, and made a mistake of its own in changing the formula for its product - the new formula to be called New Coke - possibly in response to the Pepsi Challenge. This period of fierce competition between the two companies became known as the cola wars.
1998 became a year of introduction for the GenerationNEXT campaign which shed a futuristic view of the company on youth. Racer Jeff Gordon was used as a stigma for fast, young, and powerful. Then, during the fall of 1998, Pepsi introduced Pepsi ONE, followed by an ambitious advertising campaign with the main paradigm of "just one calorie." The cola introduced the use of Sunett (Acesulfame potassium) and aspartame to attain one calorie.
The company teamed up with George Lucas's reintroduction of Star Wars to the big screen during the summer of 1999. Twenty-four characters from the Star Wars series were introduced as artwork on the cans over the summer, creating an emphasis for a collectible set. This created a huge market saturation for awareness of the movie as momentum built up.
Pepsi may have derived its name from pepsin, an enzyme produced in the mucosal lining of the stomach that acts to degrade protein. (Similar inspiration may have led to the naming of Pepsin Gum, first produced by Dr. Edward E. Beeman, whose bookkeeper, Nellie Horton, suggested that he put pepsin into gum "since so many people buy pepsin for digestion and gum for no reason at all.")
Soft drinks produced by Pepsi include:
- Aquafina water
- Aquafina Essentials water
- Lipton Brisk
- Lipton Iced Tea
- Mr. Green
- Mountain Dew (including Diet, Caffeine Free, Code Red, and Live Wire flavors)
- Mug Root Beer (including Diet)
- Sierra Mist
As with many soft drinks, Pepsi has had various celebrity spokespersons throughout its existence. Among them:
- Joan Crawford (advertising executive from 1955 to 1973, who in April 1959 was elected to fill the vacancy on the board of directors left by her late husband, Pepsi-Cola president Alfred Steele)
- Madonna (for less than two days; her contract was cut)
- Michael Jackson (who was badly burned while filming a commercial)
- Cindy Crawford (1989 Super Bowl ad)
- Britney Spears
- Faith Hill
- Hallie Kate Eisenberg
- Halle Berry
- Bob Dole
Accusations made against Pepsi
In response to the news, numerous Indians burned bottles of these two brands of soda in the streets. The Indian government asked for a comparable study of soda bottles destined for markets in the United States.