This caught my eye earlier.
The only country they haven’t cracked – where Coke or Pepsi isn’t the most popular carbonated soft drink is Scotland – it’s Irn Bru. Both Coke and Pepsi, as brands go are the biggest there are. They are ubiquitous. You can see them everywhere – from third world backstreet cafe’s to the VIP bars of Dubai 6 star hotels.
Coke and Pepsi got to where they are by spending big, on advertising. Marketing has become a totally different activity when compared to what it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Underground guerilla marketing tactics such as Social Viral can have as much success (when measured against things like sales, conversion, awareness, etc.) as the mainstream channels such as TV, Billboard, Magazine and Newspaper. The traditional channels have within them the ‘tried and tested’… the ‘safe bet’ – even though the social space has now matured a great deal, the big boys of the brown sugar water world are perhaps finding that you can’t always just chuck more money at it and make it work, in the social space.
The above piece – seems to be working. Its less than a week old and you have seen it. It’s really got me thinking – could it be that someone who doesn’t work for Coke, created the second image? Technically, very possible. If coke owned up to it (which as far as I can tell, they haven’t), there would be a strong case for copyright infringement – however – because they could quite easily say they didn’t have anything do to with it, they could get away with putting it out there if they did. The ‘beauty’ of it is – it’s going viral. It’s trending. This ‘awareness’ campaign won’t have cost Coke a penny in distribution. Isn’t the internet brilliant. Slightly conspiracy theory stuff, but it is plausible. Even if it was fan sourced, it goes to show the power of the brand – people are going out of their way to defend it.
We all know it’s been a two horse race between those guys (Coke and Pepsi) for years. This fact undoubtedly has helped both. Market runner up, in some circumstances has as many, if not more advantages of the market leader – human nature sides with the underdog. Perhaps (conspiracy theory number 2) they both know this and play off each other to get more exposure.
So – we’ve seen two of the worlds most known brands slog it out like this for years. Whilst the world continues to spend billions on brown sugar water, we’ll see billions spent on advertising and marketing.
I’ll leave you with an observation from slightly closer to home – unrelated but interesting from a branding and design perspective non the less. Yesterday, we sent my 12 year old boy on a errand to get shampoo. What he came back with was the product that has the closest resemblance to a video game. It’s not even shampoo. Target market? Boom. Head-shot.