ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Will Pepsi’s blue livery win the cola war?

Tom Blackett Interbrand

Tom Blackett Interbrand

‘It is not enough to win the cola war but will revive interest in the

brand. Pepsi’s success will depend on whether people want to identify

with a blue can - which I think is questionable. It may make certain

people come into the brand from Coca Cola and Virgin. The challenge is

to stop them trickling back. It’s a PR triumph but Pepsi needs to think

what they will do after the initial blast.’

James Kydd Virgin Cola Company

‘I would like to thank Pepsi for spending pounds 6 million on getting

Virgin Cola good press. It is an awfully large amount of money to spend

on one day. It was a risky thing to do. I think it will increase

awareness of Pepsi but very little of the coverage has been favourable.’

Neil Reading Neil Reading Publicity

‘It’s a brilliant campaign as Pepsi has put so much money behind it and

there are a lot of high-profile celebrities involved. The mere fact that

it is spending so much money has generated a lot of news coverage in

itself. It will sink into consumers’ subconscious when they are out

shopping at the cola stand - they will see the colour blue and think

Pepsi. Although the Daily Mirror looked like an issue of Loot it was a

great achievement none the less. As to whether Pepsi will beat Coca Cola

in sales I don’t know, but they will definitely increase.’

Katie Bull Kable Public Relations

‘The Pepsi promotion is, without doubt, a PR man’s dream come true -

large budgets, high impact creativity and a client who is willing to

embrace the wildest and wackiest ideas. However, the British public is a

cynical lot. The high-profile activity that Pepsi is currently engaged

in is powerful at raising immediate awareness, but what for - a new

coloured can? The actual contents remain unchanged. So I would question

whether this hype will launch Pepsi into the number one position. Only

long-term, continuous activity would have a hope at achieving this and

only if Coca Cola does not respond.’

Richard Price EMC Euro PR & Marketing Consultants

‘The Windows ’95 campaign, the only comparable product launch in terms

of scale, showed that people will not buy a product purely on the basis

of a flashy launch. If we assume the product is okay then Pepsi are

right to change the packaging. But that’s not the whole answer. They’ve

still got to get over the problem of people wanting a cola, but asking

for a Coke.’

The Big Question is edited by Lexie Goddard

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