Coke and Pepsi have been at each other’s throats for almost 3 decades, competing for top cola of the USA. They have rallied back and forth with television advertisements and marketing campaigns, which took an interesting turn in the Eighties. Coke has been my favorite choice between the two. However, Prof Boles and I definitely agree that Dr. Pepper is actually the best cola ever…
- But back to the eighties. Coca Cola had dominated the cola scene over Pepsi for most of the Seventies, but in the early Eighties Pepsi began rapidly closing the market gap between them. It seemed that the general public favored the sweeter-tasting Pepsi over the classic Coca Cola, especially after the the famous Pepsi Taste Challenge.
- In response, Coca Cola launched a new product, Diet Coke, at a high-profile press conference in New York City on July 8, 1982. Reporters packed the Hyatt Hotel, where Coca-Cola USA President Brian Dyson announced that “the most significant new product introduction in the entire 96-year history of The Coca-Cola Company” would be available in the Big Apple within days.
- Pepsi came right back with the one, the only, Michael Jackson. He became the first international pop star to be a spokesperson for Pepsi and paved the way for other iconic endorsements of the Eighties like David Bowie, Tina Tuner, and Madonna.
Check out this commercial with our favorite Michael J. Fox!
- With Pepsi’s raise to fame, Coca Cola couldn’t help but question their own formula. They reformulated the classic Coca-Cola and introduced New Coke in 1985.
- The American public’s reaction to the change was negative and the new cola was considered a major marketing failure. The introduction of the original formula, re-branded as “Coca-Cola Classic”, resulted in a significant gain in sales. Hello? I feel like this was the most brilliant marketing ploy ever. ‘Let’s change our product, then introduce it back with a classic image!’
WHO’S SIDE ARE YOU ON?