Pepsi puts soda back in the spotlight

The company is launching its first ad campaign for Pepsi-Cola in 3 years.

By Kim Peterson Jun 28, 2011 2:22PM
Remember Pepsi? For a while, it seemed like even PepsiCo (PEP) forgot about its signature product. And Pepsi slipped to No. 3 in the soda wars this spring behind Coke and Diet Coke -- a humiliating dive for the company.

So finally, PepsiCo is focusing again on Pepsi, unveiling its first new advertising campaign for the brand in three years, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The problem is that unlike Coca-Cola (KO), which is mainly still a beverage company, PepsiCo has diversified to become a food and beverage operation. Frito Lay is its biggest profit engine, and it juggles a diverse line of brands, including Doritos, Lays, Gatorade and Tropicana.

Critics tell the Journal that PepsiCo has given far too much attention to promoting healthful foods, like oatmeal, at the expense of sodas. In the U.S., Pepsi-Cola and Diet Pepsi saw sales drop 4.8% and 5.2% last year, the Journal reported. Compare that to Coca-Cola and Diet Coke, which saw sales fall only 0.5% and 1%.

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PepsiCo severely hacked its soda advertising budget. The company skipped soda ads for the 2010 Super Bowl for the first time in nearly a quarter-century, the Journal reported. Instead it tried a $20 million online charity stunt -- but that didn't really help it sell soda.

Last year, PepsiCo spent only about $153 million on soda ads, compared with $253 million by Coca-Cola.

Meanwhile, executives were busy overhauling the packaging for 1,200 individual products.

So now PepsiCo has turned the spotlight again to its signature brand with the "Summertime is Pepsi time" campaign. But will that be enough to reverse the slide for Pepsi and stop Coke's gains?
2Comments
Jun 29, 2011 3:05AM
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Companies do give out samples. They are looking to put their products in potential consumers' hands. They wouldn't do it if it didn't work one of the place that always worked is "123 Samples" search online



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Excuse me? Did the writer of this forget that Pepsi wanted jump on the Obama badwagon with its "Refresh everything" campaign and its "New for Obama" logo? Well, I havent. I also havent given any money to Pepsi.

Could this POSSIBLY be a reason why they're no.3? Oh no, of course not. If others think the way I did, then that's a great reason to be no.3. Don't change to the old logo Pepsi, stand by your man.

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