The cola wars, frankly, are an exercise in futility
millions of dollars every year on advertising. But I ask you this.
Has anyone ever converted from a Coke drinker to a Pepsi drinker or vice versa based on ads?
I mean: Some commercials are useful. The Vanilla Coke "reward your curiosity" campaign was
clever and well-chosen; more importantly, it stimulated people to buy a new drink. This
makes perfect sense. So do the Pepsi Twist commercials. These introduce new products to new
markets which would not have been accessible otherwise.
But how about the standard Pepsi ad campaigns with Hallie Kate
Eisenberg? Or Britney Spears? Or Albert Einstein, for god's sake? These commercials
certainly don't make me think "Well, I've drunk Coke all my life, and I know for a fact that I
prefer it to Pepsi. But now that Albert Einstein has said 'The choice is elementary', I think
that I will suddenly drop Coke from my lifestyle entirely!"
Not that Coke is entirely innocent. Polar bears do not convince me to drink Coke. I buy a
pretty fixed amount of Coke and Coke products each week, and no commercial, however hilarious,
is going to increase my intake.
Perhaps with these gigantic advertising budgets, they could improve their factory conditions
to the point where it's not considered slave labor. Nah.