21 September, 2020

Fresh Battle Grounds

Ambush marketing and guerrilla assaults mark the Coke-Pepsi cola war over the World Cup

Fresh Battle Grounds
All this for coloured sugared water? Well, yes, but the amused bystander to the ongoing Coca Cola-Pepsi cricket com-bat should also remember that the stakes in the cola wars have rarely been higher than they are for the Wills World Cup. Coupled with the subcontinent's mystical passion for cricket—especially among the young (read soft drink consumers)—is the estimate that around two billion people across the planet will be avidly following cricket's greatest event. They are a gigantic market waiting to be persuaded to take a glug.

When Coke outbid Pepsi to be the official soft drink of the Wills World Cup, the dimmest wit would have known that Pepsi, a major cricket sponsor worldwide, wouldn't just bow out of the ring as a graceful loser. Its response has been a classic case of "ambush marketing". Consider its guerrilla assaults—a cheeky mix of ingenuity and disdain—that have already taken place and some that are on the cards:

  • Pepsi has unleashed a deluge of print, television and outdoor advertisements, announcing that its drink has 'nothing official...


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