Evolution of Pepsi and Bench

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“Does everyone admire a winner?” (Hawkins 50) In the social life of high school students, being popular is a must. Given the reputation of popular students as the “kings and queens” of high school, most average students think of ways to become part of that group. Once these average students start to gain popularity, they overthrow the popular students so that they can take their place on “top” which angers the popular students. The two groups compete with each other for high school’s “top of the food chain.” In the business world, companies too become competitive to gain more profit through creatively advertising their products to the public. Companies have to adhere to the target markets’ cultures to create an advertisement that will be more attractive than those of their rivals and allure consumers in different countries to buy their product. This will give the company a chance to expand their boundaries and gain more money and fame. Sometimes companies juxtapose and mock their rivals’ products by displaying comparative ads just to be number one. Pepsi and Bench are two of the brands that used these strategies in advertising to help them grow in the business world. They worked hard and intelligently advertised their products through the use of other advertising strategies to get to where they are now. Companies in the Philippines should adapt the advertising strategies of Pepsi and Bench to help them grow into iconic brands. In 1894, Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist from North Carolina, invented a cola drink that included pepsin and sold it to mitigate indigestion naming it “Brad’s Drink”. After four years, the cola drink became popular with its new name “Pepsi-Cola” and became Coke’s opponent. Coke, the number one cola drink, realized that it was competing with a strong opponent (Pendergrast 188). Just like the previous analogy, Pepsi and Coke battled against each other through advertisements to attract consumers. Since Coke was on the market before Pepsi, Pepsi had to come up with advertising strategies to become as famous as Coke. Pepsi decided to create ads that compared Coke and show that it was the better one. An example of this is when Pepsi displayed its identity to the audience as a beverage brand aiming the youth market through the use of its slogans. While Coke’s slogans have always used the terms “classic” and “original” to identify itself as the first cola drink in the market, Pepsi used words such as “now” and “young” to appeal to the youth or portray a message defining it as a drink for those who think young (Haig 114). Another example was when Pepsi’s comparative TV ad in Dallas, which convinced its viewers to try the Pepsi Challenge, was disparaging on Coke’s point of view. The challenge consisted of test takers who were blindfolded and were asked to drink the two colas and say which they liked better. The results were surprising because even Coke fans prefer Pepsi to Coke. Because of this, Pepsi’s market increased by fourteen percent (Pendergrast 312). Pepsi was still struggling for fame, and wanted to stand out in the market. Thus, to differentiate its product from Coke, Pepsi decided to make its physical appearance contrast Coke’s. First, Pepsi’s colors had a mix of red, blue, and white which symbolized the support for the soldiers who fought in the 1941 war. Then, it shifted to an all blue color which clashed with Coke’s red can. Next, the font on Pepsi’s product depicted a new kind of beverage compared to the cursive handwritten one of Coke (Haig 116). Since Pepsi was gaining its fame through the comparative ads, it decided to create more that appealed to the public. In Japan, the Pepsi Cola Company did a research and found that humorous comparative ads were favored by the youth. As an evidence, MC Hammer’s Pepsi commercial ad displayed Coke as a beverage for nerds. Because of that, Pepsi’s market sales increased by nineteen percent (Schiffman and Kanuk 50). Besides Hammer’s TV ad, another...
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