A Soft Drink Fairytale

Once upon a time there were two global soft drink brands. One old brand and another, slightly younger. The older one positioned itself as The Real Thing as it entered the market first, and the younger suffered a lot from that. How can you compete with something that is… REAL?

The more the younger brand tried to be just like The Real Thing, the more it was being perceived as… the Fake Thing! This became even worse because The Real Thing did not make the slightest effort to become even a little bit like The Fake Thing – it just stayed its authentic self over the course of 125 years. The younger brand became very sad and tried to move away from the Real Thing. ‘Puh!’ it said, ‘they may be old and real, but we’re fresh and new!’. They used all kinds of slogans to position themselves as a choice for a new generation of consumers, and borrowed from some ancient Asian symbolism to create a fresh image – but if that was such a lucky choice?

In the meanwhile, the old brand was working very hard not to change. They where not changing at such a fast pace, that the younger brand had to do something. It left no option for the younger brand than to almost disappear in their advertising campaign, replacing brand images and packshots with beautiful imagery of untouched nature. It was as if they wanted to say: you may be real, but we have got nature on our side! And if you think this is all just a biomimicmarketeer’s dream, well, go to a supermarket near you, if you dare for more. The choice you make there is very real and will make you live happily ever after…

Images from the Pepsi ‘Dare for More’ campaign by BBDO Germany, 2007

Pepsi vs. Coca Cola logo evolution

Go for the real thing, son!

Happily ever after?