Pepsi Max Takes Shot at Coke Zero

pepsi max coke zeroPepsi Max, the zero calorie sister (I guess) to my beloved Diet Pepsi has brought back the soda wars with taking a shot at Coke Zero in their latest TV ads.  Coke Zero has pretty much dominated the US in the zero calorie market since its inception in 2005 where Pepsi Max found success in Europe.  We were first introduced to the cola wars in 1995 when during SuperBowl XXIX Pepsi aired the”Diner” commercial where a Coke driver and a Pepsi driver are away from home and not only share photos of the kids, but each others’ brand.  In the end, the Coke driver refuses to give up the Pepsi and a fight erupts.

1995 Cola Wars

The Evolution of Soda

Soda, a cold caffeinated beverage that people could not get enough of. The glass bottles that were served at the diner or available at the corner store were a treat. Even when they became available at home, they were still a family treat to enjoy. Sugar and caffeine, a parents nightmare until diet soda. Forget the the sugar and calorie laden soft drink as their is was an alternative to the sugar and the added pounds and wired kids. This created a war between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. While the sugar was substituted and that reduced the calories, the caffeine and wired kids but awake adults who saw soda was an alternative to coffee in the afternoon was a sales booster. Counting calories is still “in” but we have gotten away from a “diet” and moved onto the more hip and accepted “zero” calorie. In order to remain competitive and garner more of a market share Pepsi has renewed their commitment to now what is is the zero calorie war.

Same Concept, New Product

The similarities are extensive especially with the Coke driver from 1995 now owning the Diner, the Pepsi Max being the prevailing brand as to taste and the fight erupting outside the diner. The spot performed very well for PepsiCo and bringing it back is not necessarily a bad thing, especially with the reference to YouTube from an iphone, but is it hip enough? I do not think so.  A check-in maybe would have grabbed a chuckle or two and shown a bit more of the times but that in essence does nothing for Pepsi. Paying back to the diner though would have had a bit more of a buzz.

In the end a campaign of this nature is to introduce and entice. Will people switch from Coke Zero to Pepsi Max from this spot? Some will sure but is it enough to even make a dent into the dominance of Coke Zero in the marketplace? I do not think so.

Me … nah, I will stick with my Diet Pepsi as 20 years together is a long time.

photo credit: The Christian Science Monitor

  • I love Coke Zero's taste vs. Pepsi Max. To me, Pepsi Max tastes just like Diet Pepsi. Anyways, the ad probably has a good chance of getting people to try Max. There's a first time for everything…

  • Mike

    I think that the entire campaign or campaigns should be about coke vs pepsi drinkers. I will deal with Diet coke when my diet pepsi is not available but it has to get watered down. There is a distinctive taste that we all know and many are extreme loyalists to our soda.

    Come on, you can come over to the pepsi side … lots of friends here.

    Thanks Mike for coming on over, reading an commenting. Good to see you making the rounds again.

  • ok: let me be the guru here (I know you hate that!).
    spot the big BIG mistake in the new commercial spot?

    The coke guys fights – the coke guy is willing to risk injury. Bad association.
    To nail the ad they need to show coke submission – not coke fighting.
    I get this moron stuff every day. The problem is that I can't talk to everyone before the make their decisions. What can I say?
    You heard it here first…

  • Oliver

    Great point. I did not think of that as really I do not like the whole violence thing at the end. I see where people do find it humorous for me that is just not where my humor goes. I am a pepsi person so for me I do not need to change but I will continue to enjoy diet pepsi and not pepsi max. I still believe in diet.

  • Suzanne you are so right: violence in there is not what I'd be using for humour either

  • Oliver

    I guess you have to be in the mindset that violence is humorous. Sure in some cartoons I can chuckle but two grown men? Anyway, I believe this campaign is being tied to another with pepsi as they are having throwback merchandise for sale which is the old pepsi logo. Interesting to gain more awareness and see if the old is more attractive to the new and with which demographic.

  • Check it out:
    coke guys takes sip: on face disbelief/confusion. Pepsi guy wants his drink back, coke guy is all cut up, crying, betrayed by his own now shattered belief in coke, tries to hold on to it. Coke guy finally lets go of pepsi, breaks out shuddering tears. Pepsi guy comforts him, poor coke dude. Gives him the pepsi back. Final shot coke guy smiling as he raises pepsi to lips.

    No violence, pepsi wins and would be funny if done right.

    I will be very interested to see is the retro attack style campaign gets any legs…

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