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Ezra Harris
Ezra Harris

The Cola Wars !!EXCLUSIVE!!

The cola wars are the long-time rivalry between soft drink producers The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo, who have engaged in mutually-targeted marketing campaigns for the direct competition between each company's product lines, especially their flagship colas, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Beginning in the late 1970s and into the 1980s, the competition escalated until it became known as the cola wars.[1][2]

The Cola Wars


The two companies continued to introduce new and contemporary advertising techniques, such as Coke's first celebrity endorsement and 1915 contour bottle, until market instability following World War I forced Pepsi to declare bankruptcy in 1923. In 1931, Pepsi went bankrupt once more, but recovered and began selling its products at an affordable 5 cents per bottle, reigniting the cola wars through to today.[6] Pepsi offered to sell out to Coca-Cola following both of its bankruptcies during this time, but Coca-Cola declined each time.[7]

During the peak of the cola wars, as Coca-Cola saw its flagship product losing market share to Pepsi as well as to Diet Coke and competitors products, the company considered a change to the beverage's formula and flavor. In April 1985, The Coca-Cola Company introduced its new formula for Coca-Cola, which became popularly known as "New Coke". Consumer backlash to the change led to the company making a strategic retreat on July 11, 1985, announcing its plans to bring back the previous formula under the name "Coca-Cola Classic".[9] Some think the decision to replace the original flavor was actually a strategic masterstroke to bolster Coke sales once it came back on the market, which it did; however, the Coca-Cola Company vehemently denies the claim.[10]

In 1975, Pepsi began showing advertisements based on the Pepsi Challenge, in which ordinary people were asked which product they preferred in blind taste tests.[2] The campaign suggested that, when it came down to taste alone, consumers preferred Pepsi over Coca-Cola. This prompted Coca-Cola's creation of "Diet Coke," and later on, "New Coke," both of which led to a major shifting point in the cola wars. However, the Pepsi Challenge was a marketing campaign and not scientific study. Subsequent studies with scientific controls found only modest differences between Pepsi and Coke. [9]

In the mid-1990s, Pepsi launched its most successful long-term strategy of the cola wars, Pepsi Stuff. Using the slogan "Drink Pepsi, Get Stuff", consumers could collect Pepsi Points on packages and cups which could be redeemed for free Pepsi merchandise. After researching and testing the program for over two years to ensure that it resonated with consumers, Pepsi launched Pepsi Stuff, which was an instant success. Due to its success, the program was expanded to include Mountain Dew and Pepsi's international markets worldwide. The company continued to run the program for many years, continually innovating with new features each year.[11] This line of commercials led to the court case Leonard v. Pepsico, Inc., which was chronicled in the 2022 Netflix show Pepsi, Where's My Jet?

When most people think about rivalries in the carbonated beverage industry, they think of the "cola wars," the never-ending battle for market supremacy between Coca-Cola (KO) and PepsiCo (PEP) especially, as well as Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) and a host of other smaller rivals.

Today, the Indian soft drink market is dominated by Coca Cola followed by Pepsi. But the evolution of this industry in India has been very interesting. From the 1950s, local and foreign players have competed for market share. There have been lawsuits, acquisitions, companies leaving India and even the introduction of cola created by the Indian government. In this SNAP, we would revisit the history and evolution of the Cola industry in India.

In the year 1950, Parle became the first company to launch a cola drink in India at a national level. Parle was famous for its Glucose biscuits: Parle G and hence named the drink as Gluco Cola. Its print ad (below) was designed by the famous cartoonist: RK Laxman. On the other hand, Coca Cola had already registered its trademark in India but was yet to start selling. It objected to the \u2018Gluco Cola\u2019 name and asked Parle to change the name. Parle changed the name to \u2018Parle Cola\u2019 but Coca Cola was adamant to get the \u2018Cola\u2019 word dropped. To avoid the legal battle with Coke, Parle dropped the product.

In the year 1977, Congress lost the national elections and was replaced by the Janata Party at the centre. Right from the day it came into power, Janata Party was hell-bent on nationalization. As part of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), the new government asked Coke to reduce its foreign holding to 40%. They were also asked to share Coke\u2019s secret concentrate formula. Coke decided to leave India over this unacceptable demand of revealing its secret formula. Now, there was a big void left with no large cola player in the country.

In 1985, Coca-Cola introduced New Coke, which is now a cautionary tale on the dangers of tampering with a well-established brand or product. But why would Coca-Cola risk such a thing? In 1975, Pepsi launched the famous Pepsi Challenge. In malls and other public places, people were given two unlabeled cups of cola, one Coke and one Pepsi. The majority preferred Pepsi in the blind tests (although there is some debate about the legitimacy of the "sip" test). Coca-Cola performed their own tests and discovered the same thing. Meanwhile, Pepsi was closing the gap in terms of market share. Since Pepsi is sweeter than Coke, the logical thing to do was come out with a sweeter drink. This was New Coke.

I won't claim that either Coke or Pepsi has won the Cola Wars, but the war is perhaps over since both brands are now going beyond "cola" and focusing on expanding their product ranges. But the fact that Pepsi survived and thrived for so long is a testament to their tenacious brand storytelling and their strategy of looking to the future.

Another organization founded by a former member of Greenpeace, Women on Waves charters Dutch-flagged ships to bring mobile clinics to countries where abortions are illegal. Women are then transported to international waters where abortion services can be conducted on the ships under Dutch law. Some nations such as Portugal and Morocco have deployed warships to keep the floating clinics from reaching their ports.

They narrowly missed facing off in 2017, as both teams climbed the brackets in the state Class 1A playoffs. Arcola, which has four championship titles, was eliminated in the first round while Tuscola was runner-up in the final.

Their rivalry extends beyond athletics. Retired Circuit Judge Mike Carroll, a 1964 graduate of Tuscola High School, said the rub between the two Douglas County farm communities is as old as the county itself, which was formed in 1859 from Coles County. Local history books confirm the first election for county seat saw 10 times as many ballots cast as there were residents. A second election resulted in Tuscola winning.

Tuscola leads the cumulative wins title, but Arcola was ahead by one at the end of the 2015-16 season. Tuscola led by one at the end of the 2016-17 season. But a couple of game scores remain in question.

Each town has sent one player to the National Football League. Terry Miller, Arcola Class of 1964, was the first. The former high school guard, quarterback and running back, played for University of Illinois and was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1968. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1970. A knee injury ended his football career a few years later.

The Arcola team plotted its revenge by hiring Dutch Sternaman, a star quarterback for U of I, who recruited top college players throughout the Midwest. Staley learned of the plan and bowed out of the game. He then asked Sternaman and his pal George Halas to recruit players for the Decatur team.

Arcola and Tuscola are economic competitors as well with Tuscola advancing in the 1950s with large chemical plants to the west and in the 1990s with an outlet mall. Its main thoroughfares are marked by wide, paved streets and stop lights.

Since the July 1994 launch of Brazil's "plano real," the government currency stabilization plan boosted consumption on low-priced products like soft drinks, cola producers have engaged in a combative tug-of-war for these consumers.

Archrival Coca-Cola, which has a 54% slice of the soft drink market and a 90% slice of the cola market, is not taking Pepsi's challenge sitting down. In 1994 Coke invested $140 million in new plants and marketing. It plans to match that investment in 1995.

Coke and Pepsi have traded barbs in this battle for the cola market. Spina Neto made the news when he called on Brazilians to "break up the soft drink monopoly." And a Coca-Cola external relations director in Brazil made front-page newspaper headlines after recently accusing Pepsi of trying to imitate Coke's flavor.

Royal Crown, the third biggest U.S. cola producer, is also trying to break into the Brazilian market. With Momesso, a Sao Paulo bottler, it recently began consumer test-marketing and TV advertising in Sao Paulo.

Antarctica is now consumer testing its first cola, called Pop Cola, which should be selling nationally by April. It intends to grab 10% of the cola market within six months, said Antarctica Marketing Director Paulo Pereira.


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