Friday, April 12, 2013
Pepsi and Coke run dry
"When the French don't have an idea, they take their clothes off. When the British don't have an idea, they tell a joke. When the American's don't have an idea, they sing a song."
It's become even worse. Now when American's don't have an idea they hire a pop star to be their "creative director" and then they sing a song.
When all you have to sell is flavored sugar water (or aspartame water in the case of Diet Coke), differentiating one product from the next is hard enough.
Neither Coke nor Pepsi are doing themselves any favors by attempting to build their brands solely on the borrowed equity of a diva du jour, especially at a time when kids have everything from Frank Sinatra to Pink on their iPods.
Music is more inclusive than ever. When Pepsi was The Choice of a New Generation it used rock and roll – then a divisive genre – to say, "we're not your parents' cola." It actually positioned them against their larger, more mainstream rival. It made a statement.
By aligning Coke and Pepsi with Jay-Z, Beyonce, Taylor Swift or any other of the thousands of interchangeable pop stars that appear in ads and promotions, the only statement these marketers are making is that they're out of ideas.