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Wars Pepsi VS Coca Cola

Categories: Coca Cola

History of Pepsi:

Pepsi was first introduced as “Brad’s Drink” in United States, in 1893 by Caleb Bradham, who made it at his drugstore where the drink was sold. It was later labeled Pepsi Cola, named after the digestive enzyme pepsin and kola nuts used in the recipe. Bradham sought to create a fountain drink that was delicious and would aid in digestion and boost energy. In 1903, Bradham moved the bottling of Pepsi-Cola from his drugstore to a rented warehouse. That year, Bradham sold 7,968 gallons of syrup.

The next year, Pepsi was sold in six-ounce bottles, and sales increased to 19,848 gallons. In 1909, automobile race pioneer Barney Oldfield was the first celebrity to endorse Pepsi-Cola, describing it as “A bully drink…refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race.” The advertising theme “Delicious and Healthful” was then used over the next two decades. In 1926, Pepsi received its first logo redesign since the original design of 1905. In 1929, the logo was changed again.

In 1931, at the depth of the Great Depression, the Pepsi-Cola Company entered bankruptcy – in large part due to financial losses incurred by speculating on wildly fluctuating sugar prices as a result of World War I.

Assets were sold and Roy C. Megargel bought the Pepsi trademark. Megargel was unsuccessful, and soon Pepsi’s assets were purchased by Charles Guth, the President of Loft Inc. Loft was a candy manufacturer with retail stores that contained soda fountains. He sought to replace Coca-Cola at his stores’ fountains after Coke refused to give him a discount on syrup.

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Guth then had Loft’s chemists reformulate the Pepsi-Cola syrup formula. On three separate occasions between 1922 and 1933, The Coca-Cola Company was offered the opportunity to purchase the Pepsi-Cola company, and it declined on each occasion.

History of Coca Cola:

Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by John Pemberton, an Atlanta, Georgia, pharmacist. Pemberton was actually trying to concoct a headache remedy, but once he mixed his special syrup with carbonated water, and a few customers tasted the result, he realized that he had the makings of a popular soda fountain beverage. The name Coca-Cola was coined by Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, who also wrote out the new name in the expressive script that has become Coca Cola’s signature logo.

Though the Coca-Cola Company apparently would rather not talk about the origin of its name in detail, it’s clear that Robinson derived “Coca-Cola” from two of the drink’s ingredients: cola from the cola nut, and extract of coca leaf, also the source of cocaine. Cocaine was a common ingredient of nineteenth-century patent medicines, and by the standards of the day it contained a minuscule amount that probably had no effect on its consumers.

Still, by the early 1890s there was a rising tide of anti-cocaine sentiment, and Atlanta businessman Asa Candler, who acquired the Coca Cola Company in 1891, steadily decreased even the tiny amount of the drug in the recipe. The only reason Candler kept putting even minute amounts of coca extract in the drink was the belief that to omit it entirely might cause Coca Cola to lose its trademark. But Coca-Cola was completely cocaine free by 1929.

In 1940, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the name Coke rightfully belongs to the Coca-Cola Company.

In financial circles, Coca-Cola has been one of the strongest and most reliable trading stocks, showing a steady return in all of its years of existence but one. Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men, has always touted Coca Cola as an essential in one’s stock portfolio. Comparision between their Advertisements:

Additionally while Pepsi with its younger audience tends to focus soley on pop stars, it was Coca-Cola who is regarded as having one of the greatest TV advertisiments of all time, featuring a far more mature pop band Blondie and the enormous hit “Atomic”, the video played the main chorus of the song to the backdrop of professional footballers taking part in geniune competitive World Cup games and the noise a contender for the coveted title of Greatest Commercial of All Time in many nations. Coca-Cola had Christina Aguilera featured in their commercials, while Pepsi had Britney Spears, Keshauntae Brown, Michael Jackson, and Mariah Carey

Comparision between their Marketing Approach:

Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi try to market as part of a life-style. Coca-Cola uses phrases such as “Coke side of life” in their website,, while Pepsi uses phrases such as “Hot stuff” in their website,, to promote the idea that Pepsi is “in sync” with the cool side of life. Coca-Cola is more popular but Pepsi has a bigger company. Pepsi tries to reach out to the younger generation by appealing to pop culture. If you visit their website you will be greeted with flashy pages containing pop music, cars, and fashion. Coca-Cola’s website also has links for music and sports, two arenas in which soda-pop is often consumed; however, Coca-Cola’s is less flashy and uses a classical appeal, most likely because of Coca-Cola’s long history as the standard for cola beverages.

Comparision between Market Share:

Comparision between Logo:
Pepsi’s Logo:

The Pepsi logo, just like the world’s favourite beverage, has evolved over a long period of time and has become an all time recognizable logo across the planet. Despite the lapse of over a 100 years, Pepsi Cola still leads the beverages industry and continues to capture the hearts and minds of millions of consumers with its dazzling taste and refreshing qualities. The production of Pepsi Cola kicked off on 16th June 1903. The logo that was designed back then remains more or less the same with minor innovations. Caleb Bradham, the man who founded the company, basically scribbled a design which later went on to gather fame.

Sensing the success of his ground breaking drink, he came up with a logo and that centered on curves. The first visible changes were made in 1940 and 1950, when red and blue colors replaced the original red logo along with a slight alteration to the shape. Another change to the logo was made in 1962 when the word “Cola” was dropped from the logo, making it just “Pepsi”. The logo again embraced some minor changes on its centennial anniversary in 1998, with Pepsi’s success reflected by a sphere which still is part of the world’s most popular logo today.

Coca Cola’s Logo:

Coca Cola is world’s biggest brand and its logo is most omnipresent in consumer psyche. In numerous surveys, it has been ranked as the most popular and most trusted brand of the world which is sold in more than 200 countries of the world. Pharmacist John S. Pemberton was the inventor of Coca-Cola. It was invented as patent medicine. His partner Frank Mason Robinson created first Coca Cola logo in 1885. First it was called, Coca Wine, but Robinson came up with the idea of Coca-Cola because he thought the two Cs would look well in advertising, and visualized the logo’s distinctive cursive script called Spencerian script which was a prevalent form of handwriting in 19th century’s US.

The red and white color combination was chosen as it was attractive, has blend of energy and purity. It was also meant to attract the youngsters. Example of one basic logo design that has ruled the world without having much change in it, yes there was some subtle and minute alteration, but it has not drastically changed the properties of the logo. Compared to Pepsi, Coca-Cola logo better positioned in consumer psyche, that’s because when most people think about it, they think of this logo only and not of many variants. But when Pepsi is mentioned, many logos flow into people’s minds. Coca-Cola’s barely changing logo is better for people to remember.

Comparision between Slogans over the years:

Since both were developed and introcuded by pharmicists, they claimed that both drinks had medicinal properties. Coke’s 1900 slogan was “For headache and exhaustion, drink Coca-Cola”, while Pepsi’s 1903 slogan was “Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion”. In 1929, Pepsi claimed: “Here’s Health!” Coke has been selling a “refreshing” and “satisfying” image for a longer time than Pepsi. Here’s a quick list of slogans that remind us a lot of those we see today:

* 1904 – Coca-Cola satisfies
* 1904 – Delicious and Refreshing
* 1905 – Good all the way down
* 1906 – Thirst quenching – delicious and refreshing
* 1907 – Cooling… refreshing… delicious
* 1909 – Delicious, wholesome, refreshing
* 1909 – Delicious, wholesome, thirst quenching
* 1909 – Drink delicious Coca-Cola

In the other hand, Pepsi tried to show that their drink was better for small pockets, having more ounces of drink available in each bottle. Check it out: * 1934 – Double Size
* 1939 – Twice as Much for a Nickel
* 1943 – Bigger Drink, Better Taste
* 1949 – Why Take Less When Pepsi’s Best?

After that, since Coca-Cola was the top selling cola drink for so long, Pepsi started to change their awareness. Pepsi had to find a way to make people think different of what they were used to. Making Coke look old was solution they found.

* 1961 – Now It’s Pepsi for Those Who Think Young
* 1963 – Come Alive! You’re in the Pepsi Generation
* 1984 – The Choice of a New Generation
* 1989 – A Generation Ahead
* 1993 – Be Young, Have Fun, Drink Pepsi
* 1997 – Generation Next

Although its reign was never trembled by Pepsi, Coke replied these slogans reaffirming its untouchable quality and tradition.
* 1942 – The only thing like Coca-Cola is Coca-Cola itself
* 1945 – Whenever you hear “Have a Coke,” you hear the voice of America
* 1970 – It’s the real thing
* 1985 – America’s Real Choice
* 1989 – Can’t Beat the Feeling
* 1990 – Can’t Beat the Real Thing
* 1993 – Always Coca-Cola

Another detail that makes clear to us that Coke never felt threaten is the fact that the Coca-Cola logo was hardly ever changed. The times Coke tried some change, the feedback was all negative, and they had to bring back the classic logo. Pepsi has been changing its logo since ever, adjusting themselves to each generation, making their way to become the “young choice”.

Comparision between their websites:
Pepsi’s Website:

The Pepsi website ( offers users a very different experience than Coca-Cola’s website. The Pepsi site greets users with an animation and sounds of a glass being filled by ice and Pepsi, which is then paired with a food item such as onion rings or a fajita. There are four main links in Pepsi’s main page, two of which deal directly with Pepsi marketing campaigns. The first link is entitled “promotions.” By clicking this link, users of PepsiCo’s website are taken to a contest that involves consumers buying Pepsi and having a 1/3 chance of receiving a free music download courtesy of Apple’s iTunes. The second link, called “street motion” allows PepsiCo website users to enter a drawing where the winner will receive a free luxury automobile.

The third link is for “Pepsi sports” where the NFL’s Rookie of the Year is named and consumers are reminded time and time again that Pepsi is the official drink sponsor of the NFL. This link also includes streaming video of every Pepsi Super Bowl ad. The final link is entitled “Pepsi music.” This link takes users to Pepsi’s website touting their sponsorship of a summer music tour that involves some of the biggest names in pop-music. Pepsi’s sites are very easy to navigate if one is looking to find information about PepsiCo’s promotions or marketing campaigns. If a user is looking for company or product information, however, it can be difficult to find. At the bottom of the main page is a small link for company information. By clicking this link, users are taken to a different page called

At, users can find the company’s history, job information, and information on other brands that Pepsi owns such as Quaker Oats and Frito Lay. Aesthetically, Pepsi’s websites are very nice. They use bright colors and large, animated links. The site can prove to be frustrating for those that are looking for company information, but for everyone else, they are very interactive and fun. PepsiCo’s sites are geared much more towards customers that are already Pepsi drinkers and have an idea of PepsiCo’s marketing campaigns. The goal of PepsiCo’s sites are not to build new customers, rather they aim to reinforce current customers’ concepts of the organization.

Coca Cola’s website:

When you arrive at Coca-Cola’s front page, you are greeted by three page links. These links connect to Coca-Cola company information, their worldwide site, and their U.S. site. By clicking the company information link, the user is transported to Coca-Cola’s official company website where one can find information for investors, job information, and a company history. The company information page is set out in an easy to navigate manner with “pull-down” menus for each of the links within the company page. The worldwide and the U.S. sites on are very similar in content. The worldwide site provides international users with a link to Coca-Cola’s country-specific sites that provides information on products and Coca-Cola themed games and downloads.

The Coca-Cola in the U.S site provides many of the same marketing tools that the international sites provide. There are “pull-down” menus on the site for music downloads, product information, sports, message boards, as well as links to all Coca-Cola television advertisements. Each of Coca-Cola’s web pages is easy to navigate. However, most of the pages are not aesthetically pleasing. With the exception of a few of the international sites (, most Coca-Cola sites are mainly done in different shades of red and black. This provides a very dull experience for the user while searching the Coca-Cola website. Coca-Cola’s website focuses on not only current customers, but it also focuses on building strong relationships with existing customers by providing large amounts of company and product information.

Comparision between Brand Personality and Target Markets:
Pepsi’s Brand Personality and Target Markets:

Pepsi has always had a young target audience. Many of their ads were targeted at teens and pre-teens and are injected with fun, sports and most often, music. Pepsi has leveraged all manner of musical celebrities over the years. There was a fantastic commercial featuring Michael Jackson and a group of kids that are probably far too young to legally target for such a sugary product these days! When Pepsi wasn’t using musical celebrities, humor was their weapon of choice, again utilizing young kids in the ads. Who could forget the lovable little girl telling the bartender, “I asked for a Pepsi Pal” in the voice of the Godfather?

A few hilarious advertisements of Pepsi:

Coca Cola’s Brand Personality and Target Markets:

Though to a degree, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have always been similar in their “fun and young” personalities, the two companies have consistently stayed on separate paths over the decades. On the whole, Pepsi has stuck with its high energy, music and comedy-driven strategy while Coke can be seen constantly gravitating towards the emotional side of branding. Coca-Cola ads depict human experience in two primary ways. First, Coca-Cola was embracing diversity. This can be clearly seen in its long-running “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” series of ads, depicting people from all over the globe joining together in Coke and song. Further, Coca-Cola has long been available in one form or another in countries all across the world and it’s even rumored to be the most recognizable brand, logo and even word on the planet.

When Coca-Cola ads aren’t targeting worldwide diversity, they still possess a strong sense of community and overcoming differences and hardship through universal similarities such as a love for Coke. The second way that Coke has leveraged the human experience throughout the years is through a strong emphasis on families. They seem to know that Mom does the shopping and to get her you have to use an emotional appeal that makes Coca-Cola not only a family desire, but that is an integral part of the family’s life. This occurs all over Coca-Cola’s advertising throughout the years. Whether its an endearing scene of a father and son watching the Santa Coke truck go by or a family of polar bears consistently being brought together by Coke, the ads are aimed right at the hearts of American consumers. Comparision in tactics of Gaining Consumers:

Pepsi: Changes Everything

In the evolution image above of Pepsi’s logo, consumers saw Pepsi roll along with popular design trends as they introduced Photoshop-centric gradients, shadows and highlights. As with every good design trend, this was firmly rejected by the designers of the next decade. The design community’s eventual response was a full-throttle rebirth of minimalism. Every brand that made their logos look shinier in the late 90s suddenly hit command-z and started stripping their personalities through thin, sans-serif fonts and simple, solid colors By now we’re all familiar with Pepsi’s foray into this trend. After decades of refining, they hit the Pepsi globe with the ugly stick, trashed the familiar bold typography and gave us this:

Years later I still can’t muster up anything but disdain for this rebranding project. Call me old fashioned but I think Pepsi took a baseball bat to their brand heritage. Meanwhile, they made the “e” in Pepsi mirror the old logo! It might be an attempt at cleverness, but it seems indecisive. Emotional brand ties aside, consumers simply don’t see the logic behind this project. Keeping their image young and fresh is one thing, wasting millions of dollars to twist and smudge your iconic logo is another. They had a really strong and recognizable logo to revert to and rethinking it so dramatically wasn’t either necessary or effective in any way.

What makes this overhaul absolutely laughable is the explanation behind it from the Arnell Group. Shortly after the rebranding went public a PDF was leaked which is amazingly nonsensical in its attempt to be sophisticated. Pepsi has since recovered from the public’s hatred of their new brand simply by trudging on. The redesign of their entire line of drinks has stuck with the exception of Sierra Mist, whose strange foggy forest design has already been abandoned for a new look that is actually quite attractive by comparison. Meanwhile, Pepsi’s overall personality has stayed pretty much the same as they continue to primarily use humor and music in their advertising. In 2011, their Super Bowl featured several humorous Pepsi Max commercials and the Pepsi website prominently features an index of “emerging artists”.

The biggest brand goal change that took place with the rebranding project was the Pepsi Refresh Project, which continues on today. Through this initiative Pepsi gives grants to people with great ideas for how to improve their community. It’s an excellent project and a great direction for Pepsi. More and more, big companies are expected to use portions of their mountains of cash to make the world a better place and the Pepsi Refresh Project is doing exactly that. From this we can also see the effects of their branding in action. Notice how they consistently use the new logo as an “O” in various places. Honestly, despite rejecting the drastic change of their logo I do like the consistency of the visual direction they’ve gone in ever since.

Coke Simplifies

In the early 2000s, Coke underwent a process very similar to Pepsi’s rebranding project. Like Pepsi, Coca-Cola undertook a branding project that had essentially undone the clutter that had made its way into the brand identity and strip it down to a meaningful and simplified version. In a case study released by San Francisco design firm Turner Duckworth, the problem with Coke was clearly portrayed:

The Turner Duckworth team responded to this problem in a drastically different way than the Arnell Group handled the Pepsi refresh (for starters, their logic actually made sense and wasn’t a bunch of circles). Arnell did in fact simplify the Pepsi brand, but in the process they redefined it into something that it has never been before. On the surface, this sounds great but as we saw, the execution felt more like a gunshot to the heart of the brand. Turner Duckworth on the other hand, didn’t attempt to redefine the most valuable brand on the planet, they simply brought it back to its roots. The result was a strengthening of the core features of the logo and product imagery.

Turner Duckworth realized that the heart of the brand didn’t just lie in the logo itself but something physical that consumers had all experienced in a very real way over the years: the coke bottle. This idea of leveraging something physical is very important. We’ve all had Coca-Cola from a can, paper cup and plastic bottle before, but there’s something magically nostalgic about that old glass bottle. Not only did they apply their newly simplified look to the glass Coke bottle, they made the silhouette of that bottle the new brand hero and began using it in new and innovative ways. Below we can see the awesome Coca-Cola aluminum can bottles and the application of the Coke bottle silhouette onto other representations of the Coke brand such as paper cups and door signs.

Cite this page

Wars Pepsi VS Coca Cola. (2016, Oct 16). Retrieved from

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