The cola ad war makes a comeback after six years in India

  • After an almost six-year gap, PepsiCo has again engaged in comparative advertising, taking a pot shot at rival Coca-Cola.
  • PepsiCo’s latest commercial for its lemon drink7Up appears to belittle rival brand Sprite’s long-standing tagline “Clear Hai” by highlighting the “new clarity” of this generation, for whom “I don’t know” is cooler than “I know.”
  • With predictions of a scorching summer ahead, soft-drink brands, which depend on the hot season for the bulk of their sales, are once again going all out to raise the stakes for market share, say industry experts.
  • A decade ago, advertising cola wars used to be fought largely on basis of spoofs and brands taking pot shots at each other and some even landed up in court. When Coca-Cola was official cricket World Cup sponsor in 1996, Pepsi hit back with its tagline, ‘Nothing official about it.’
  • The April-June quarter is crucial for beverage companies, accounting for close to 40 per cent of annual soft drinks sales. In a market where soft drinks sales have been lukewarm for five-six quarters, growing in low single digits, both companies are relying on predictions of a sizzling summer to push demand.
  • Industry officials said lime and lemon drinks are among the fastest-growing segments now, ahead of colas, as the taste resonates with Indian palettes.
  • After a lull of almost two years, high-decibel ad campaigns have made a comeback across consumer categories ranging from toothpaste and biscuits to even department stores, as companies launch new brands and expect a revival in demand.
  • The question is whether such aggressive ads work. The cola wars of the 1990s did not help either Coca-Cola or Pepsi — all they did was create excitement, said experts.
 Source: http://bit.ly/2ocRqSo
 

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Yogesh Saini

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Yash Rathod

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