Out Of Ideas: The Pepsi Challenge Is Back

Pepsi Challenge PepsiCo


PepsiCo Beverages Canada is bringing back The Pepsi Challenge, Pepi’s famous head-to-head blind taste test with Coca-Cola that first debuted in 1975.According to a press release, the “Pepsi Ultimate Taste Challenge” will be at more than 1,000 events in Canada, hoping to interact with 1.5 million individuals.

The new campaign will implement Facebook, Microsoft Surface screens and other social media to modernize the blind taste test. In addition, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi MAX will also be a part of the challenge.

The move is one of many the soda company is making globally to help its struggling market share. Pepsi recently launched its “Live for Now” campaign globally after spending nine months figuring out how its brand is different than Coke.

In 2005, Malcolm Gladwell published an extensive indictment of the campaign. His belief was that Pepsi won the challenge because of the nature of the “sip test,” which pits the two drinks head-to-head. He argued, the sweeter soda, Pepsi, wins the head-to-head test, even though consumers prefer Coke when consuming normally. Nonetheless, the challenge was effective—it convinced Coca-Cola to make the disastrous decision to reformulate its product into the abhorred, and then abandoned, “New Coke.”

More recently, Buckingham Research Group published a report last week predicting a continued market share dominance by Coca-Cola.

The campaign was announced as rumours that PepsiCo, which includes Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Quaker, Gatorade, and other brands, might get broken up, following news that Relational Investors acquired significant amount of stock in the company.

There is no word on whether Pepsi plans on bringing the Ultimate Taste Challenge to the U.S.

Read More:

How Pepsi Went From Coke’s Greatest Rival To An Also-Ran In The Cola Wars

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