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Smart move for Pepsi

Posted by: Diane Brady on September 12, 2007

Pepsi has launched a red can in China that closely resembles the packaging of arch-rival Coca-Cola, according to a piece in today’s Wall Street Journal. Smart move, or dumb? I go with the former.

The soda-maker has a history of trying to one-up its behemoth competitor by stealing thunder whenever possible. Its reputation in India was cemented during the 1996 Cricket World Cup when it upstaged official sponsor Coke with ads boasting “nothing official about it.”

Now, Coke is an official sponsor of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Pepsi is trying to cash in on local enthusiasm by playing up the Olympic spirit. The risk is, of course, that consumers might start to confuse Coke and Pepsi at a time when both are trying to build share in a growing market. But the risks are minimal when you’re the No. 2 guy and enthusiasm for Team China is building by the day.



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