COKE VS. PEPSI: The Amazing Story Behind The Infamous Cola Wars

soda wars coca cola pepsi

The rivalry between Coca-Cola and Pepsi is legendary. Although the feud really heated up with the Pepsi Challenge in 1975 —which prompted Coca-Cola’s horrific New Coke debacle — the brands have been fighting each other for more than a century. 

And not just about product development. Things occasionally get personal, which sometimes resonates in their marketing. Earlier this year, Pepsi went after Coke’s famed mascots, the polar bears and Santa. 

The feud has even moved into outer space and raged over social media

So how’d it become this way?

The folks at CnnTees put together an amazing infographic entitled “The Soda Wars” that includes everything you’d ever want to know about the history of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Take a look:

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[slide
permalink=”the-saga-began-in-1886-when-john-s-pemberton-developed-the-original-recipe-for-coke-heres-what-was-in-it-1″
title=”The saga began in 1886, when John S. Pemberton developed the original recipe for Coke. Here’s what was in it:”
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[slide
permalink=”pepsi-cola-was-created-in-13-years-later-by-pharmacist-caleb-bradham-2″
title=”Pepsi-Cola was created in 13 years later by pharmacist Caleb Bradham”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb18b1b6bb3f73c1700000d”
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[slide
permalink=”coca-cola-was-already-selling-a-million-gallons-per-year-by-the-time-pepsi-came-to-be-3″
title=”Coca-Cola was already selling a million gallons per year by the time Pepsi came to be”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb183daecad045a7c000025″
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[slide
permalink=”coke-developed-its-iconic-contour-bottle-got-big-name-endorsements-and-expanded-to-europe-meanwhile-pepsi-went-bankrupt-because-of-wwi-4″
title=”Coke developed its iconic contour bottle, got big name endorsements and expanded to Europe. Meanwhile, Pepsi went bankrupt because of WWI”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb181b1eab8ead756000044″
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[slide
permalink=”pepsi-went-bankrupt-again-eight-years-later-but-this-time-it-rebounded-5″
title=”Pepsi went bankrupt again eight years later, but this time it rebounded”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb184016bb3f74578000038″
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[slide
permalink=”during-wwii-pepsi-amped-up-its-advertising-and-started-selling-its-drink-in-cans-6″
title=”During WWII, Pepsi amped up its advertising and started selling its drink in cans”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb18971ecad048510000029″
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[slide
permalink=”in-the-50s-coke-ads-started-hitting-tv-while-pepsi-rebranded-to-try-to-keep-up-7″
title=”In the 50s, Coke ads started hitting TV, while Pepsi rebranded to try to keep up”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb189766bb3f7960c00003a”
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[slide
permalink=”coke-decided-to-go-public-in-1962-on-the-heels-of-its-launch-of-sprite-which-would-become-one-of-its-most-successful-brands-8″
title=”Coke decided to go public in 1962, on the heels of its launch of Sprite, which would become one of its most successful brands”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb1897d69bedd877a000028″
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[slide
permalink=”pepsi-merged-with-frito-lay-in-the-mid-60s-to-create-pepsico-setting-the-stage-for-the-war-today-diet-drinks-popped-up-too-creating-a-whole-new-soda-segment-9″
title=”Pepsi merged with Frito Lay in the mid-60s to create PepsiCo, setting the stage for the war today. Diet drinks popped up too, creating a whole new soda segment”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb18a836bb3f70a06000030″
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[slide
permalink=”here-are-their-stock-values-over-the-years-pepsis-successful-foray-into-the-snack-food-biz-with-frito-lay-have-helped-it-significantly-especially-in-the-past-decade-meanwhile-coke-has-stayed-strictly-in-beverages-10″
title=”Here are their stock values over the years. Pepsi’s successful foray into the snack food biz with Frito Lay have helped it significantly, especially in the past decade. Meanwhile, Coke has stayed strictly in beverages”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb1818d6bb3f7b70100000e”
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[slide
permalink=”here-are-some-of-cokes-biggest-brands-15-of-them-have-reached-1-billion-or-more-in-retail-sales-11″
title=”Here are some of Coke’s biggest brands — 15 of them have reached $1 billion or more in retail sales”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb1929fecad04ff27000009″
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[slide
permalink=”though-pepsis-beverage-brands-may-not-be-as-strong-its-snack-food-business-is-enormous-12″
title=”Though Pepsi’s beverage brands may not be as strong, its snack food business is enormous”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb1998aeab8ea3b0b000013″
caption=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”coke-has-a-big-lead-in-cola-market-share-over-pepsi-but-pepsis-multiple-business-lines-haul-in-more-cash-13″
title=”Coke has a big lead in cola market share over Pepsi, but Pepsi’s multiple business lines haul in more cash”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb192b2ecad04091900001e”
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[slide
permalink=”each-brand-has-had-a-brigade-of-celebrities-on-their-side-here-are-some-famous-faces-that-endorsed-coke-14″
title=”Each brand has had a brigade of celebrities on their side. Here are some famous faces that endorsed Coke:”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb18cae6bb3f7990c000025″
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[slide
permalink=”and-pepsi-15″
title=”And Pepsi:”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb18cb7ecad04211900000c”
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[slide
permalink=”both-brands-have-made-tons-of-changes-to-their-logos-throughout-their-histories-neither-look-anything-like-they-did-originally-16″
title=”Both brands have made tons of changes to their logos throughout their histories. Neither look anything like they did originally”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb192bf6bb3f7f823000008″
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[slide
permalink=”theyve-both-embraced-the-digital-world-as-social-media-gets-bigger-and-bigger-but-coke-seems-to-be-faring-better-thus-far-17″
title=”They’ve both embraced the digital world as social media gets bigger and bigger — but Coke seems to be faring better thus far”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb192b7eab8eaa108000003″
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[slide
permalink=”coke-and-pepsi-arent-the-only-brands-that-have-gone-at-it-for-decades-18″
title=”Coke and Pepsi aren’t the only brands that have gone at it for decades…”
content=”Check Out The 12 Most Intense Marketing Wars Ever >
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dee45bbccd1d5bc4d020000″
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[/slideshow]