In 1893, Pharmacist Caleb Bradham of New Bern, North Carolina introduced a drink, called “Brad’s drink” which became the most popular beverage of his time. The ingredients of “Brad’s drink” were carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, rare oils, pepsin and cola nuts. It was later renamed as “Pepsi cola” in 1898, and still is the most favorite soft drink, especially among youth. The advertisement strategy of Pepsi cola has done a great deal of work to make it all time favorite.
1960’s black and white commercial shows two young couples, drinking Pepsi and enjoying at fountain, while dancing and talking with each other. The song playing in the background says “pick the right one, smarter and light one, now its Pepsi for those who think young.” This commercial point towards the link between Pepsi, youngness and smartness. It provoke people that if they think they are young, then they should ask for Pepsi. Pepsi is in fashion and symbolizes “leisure” so those who think young, as young refers to smartness and intelligence, should opt for Pepsi. This ad also target youngsters, as youngsters are the one who can do anything to be considered as smart.
Another commercial from 60’sshows ice hockey match. When players get exhausted they drink chilled Pepsi and start playing again. This commercial indicate towards the experiment that “Pepsi taste better when chilled”, conducted by Pepsi cola company. This ad is colored as color TV’s were introduced by then. The ad point towards the energy which Pepsi boost when a person is exhausted, merely adding to his activeness. The song playing behind in background says that Pepsi got a taste “that beats the other cold”, perhaps pointing towards the taste of Coca-Cola so their viewers start believing that Pepsi cola is better than Coca-Cola.
In one of the commercial of 1970,for the first time Black Americans were shown in the ad. It was the result of newly found rights of Black Americans that they were shown in the ad enjoying, hugging White Americans, talking with them, and drinking Pepsi. The song playing in a background says:
“Pepsi have some color of life, it’s a Pepsi generation, coming at you growing strong. Put yourself behind a Pepsi, if you are living you’ll ask, you got a right to live and Pepsi’s got luck to give.” The lyrics of this song emphasize on “live and let others live” philosophy, that Pepsi believes in giving equal respect and importance to every costumer of Pepsi, and this caring factor adds color in life, bringing joy to people. Its total new era, whose generation believes in equality of mankind and Pepsi support this generation by calling it “a Pepsi generation”,
In early 80’s Pepsi challenge the leading Cola which was Coca-Cola by conducting blind taste test in which more than 50% of people preferred Pepsi over Coca-Cola. In their adthey use tag line “don’t take our word for it, let your taste decide”, asking their viewers that if you don’t believe in our words, decide yourself by testing Pepsi. At that time sale rate of Coca-Cola was higher than Pepsi and is still higher today, this ad affects their sale rate. People who were not Pepsi costumer bought Pepsi to check the validity of their claim, which result in high sale of Pepsi. To the reaction of this blind taste test, Coca-Cola Company later improves their product’s taste, by doing some changes in their recipe.
Michael Jackson has done many Pepsi ads during the period of 80’s. He has sung a song “Pepsi The choice of new generation”. Michael Jackson is a legend and will always be an impression to people for his own unique style of songs and dance. By taking Michael Jackson in their ads, Pepsi Cola Company intended to hit youth, as youth was extremely mad about Michael Jackson. He was a choice of new generation and by supporting Pepsi, he made “Pepsi The choice of new generation”.
Another ad from 80’s, starring Michael J. Fox (playing double role as robot) and Lori Laughlin introduced Diet Pepsi, with a caption “Diet Pepsi that’s Generation ahead”. Diet Pepsi was introduced because people were becoming more self-conscious about their weight and figure. Obesity spreads through junk food and Pepsi comes into that category, so people started avoiding Pepsi. Also the ideal figure of size zero was also spreading as an obsession among women. Women were becoming diet conscious for that. So when stars having ideal body figure were shown drinking Diet Pepsi, people also consider it harmless for their body figure.
The life of next generation is considered to be depending on Robots. By showing robots in Pepsi Ad and the caption “Diet Pepsi that’s Generation ahead”, the Company might want to indicate towards that Diet Pepsi would definitely be the choice of the upcoming generation.
Pepsi adtaken from 90’s having a tag line “the joy of Cola”, featuring Aretha Franklin, who acted as Helen Keller in a movie “Helen Keller” and became popular. “The joy of cola” ad basically indicates toward the idea that if you want to enjoy you should drink Pepsi, or drink Pepsi, it will bring happiness to you. The ad shows that drinking Pepsi makes you enjoy your party and adds to the fun, and rejoices, which are incomplete without Pepsi.
A commercial “Coke vs. Pepsi” has taken from the year 2000 onwards shows a man from Pepsi Company and a man from Coca-Cola Company. They talked for a while and share their cans. A man who drink Coca cola return the can but a man who drink Pepsi refuses to return Pepsi can. The caption of this ad is “Nothing else is Pepsi”. This ad shows cola rivalry between Pepsi cola and Coca-Cola. This ad indicates towards the idea that Pepsi is only one among its kind, and no other cola offer such a delightful taste which Pepsi offers. This ad promotes peculiarity of Pepsi, saying “Nothing else is Pepsi”.
Another commercial which has taken from the year 2000, features Queens of music Britney Spears, Pink and Beyonce as three gladiators, and very famous singer Enrique Igleases as a king. In this ad three gladiator women sing “we will rock you” instead of battle inside the coliseum, to earn Pepsi. The energy, the power of crowd, the classy-ness of coliseum, presence of mind of gladiators shown in this ad, depicts the uniqueness which Pepsi brings to a person.
Another commercial of Pepsi generation shows Britney Spears singing medley, having Pepsi tag lines of 1958 to 2000 in it. This commercial is a very good depiction of Pepsi’s evolution of ideas, for targeting their costumers, through Pepsi commercials. Pepsi Company started their commercials by symbolizing Pepsi with youngness. Then company appeal Pepsi to youngsters by saying “it’s a Pepsi generation”, as youngsters are the one with which present generation used to be associated with. Later the Pepsi company claims Pepsi to be special as it has special taste, different from other colas, and more when it serve chilled, it beat out other colas. Then the company comes up with the idea “lot to live”, which refers to the rights of individual to live his life fully. Later Pepsi Cola
Company comes up with the tag line, which refers to the Pepsi’s peculiarity as “simply irresistible” drink. Pepsi has become the part of life. It has become the important beverage item for parties and functions. Moreover people drink Pepsi without any reason when they want some change and to experience “joy”. All of the evolution of marketing ideas mentioned above has brought together under one commercial very beautifully and attractively.
If we compare these commercials, we can easily observe the theme and thinking behind these ads. All of them are associated with youth, joy, smartness, life, fashion, social utility and the best flavor which only Pepsi offers. The actors they opt for their ads are young or already successful singer or film or TV star, famous among youth. The scenario they opt in their ads is also full of life and happiness, depicting individuals or as a group enjoying the life. All of their commercials mostly target youth by showing their favorite super stars, and by using catchy lines like “it’s a Pepsi generation” to play with their psychology. As when it comes to a thing which’s in fashion of that generation, or an artist after whom the people are mad, youngsters would definitely go for that thing.