Pepsi: Promoting Nothing (Water Wars)

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What markets should Pepsi target for Aquafina?
Pepsi Cola and Coca-Cola have been competing with each other for many years through numerous taste tests and television ads. One of the ideas they came up with is water. In the early 1990s Evian and Perrier were the brands that dominated the niche and helped establish bottled spring water’s clean, healthy image. Pepsi first tried to attack this market with bottled and sparkling water but failed. In 1994, Pepsi had the idea of using its bottlers to filter local tap water and offering the resulting product under the name of Aquafina. They experimented with a reverse osmosis process pushing already filtered tap water at high pressure through fiberglass membranes to remove even the tiniest particles. This process created water with no taste or odor. In addition, because the process used tap water it was inexpensive and would compete well on price with the other spring waters in the market. Pepsi wanted to target everyone with unisex, mainstream water at an everyday price. By 1999, the bottled water market had boomed and competitors such as Coca-Cola decided it was time to join the market. Similar to Pepsi they launched Dasani. Dasani was bottled water filtered locally by its bottlers but with certain salts and minerals added to give it a fresh, clean taste. Having the same motives as Pepsi, Dasani was content just to build distribution and not promote water. By 2001, the category was on the way to becoming the 2nd largest beverage category. By 2004 both companies decided they needed to promote their waters. This resulted in a new front called the “Water Wars”. The early water products such as Evian, target women and “high-end” consumers and positioned themselves as expensive, upscale products. Pepsi on the other hand wanted to target everyone with a unisex product at an everyday price. They position the product as having “nothing”! Pepsi is referring to how the...
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