What Pepsi Could Learn From Coke When It Comes to Cheers

PuckI almost made it two whole days without writing about that damn Pepsi cheer. I really don't understand how it got out of the design phase. Why would Pepsi insert itself awkwardly between Canadians and hockey? Coke would know better...

Case in point: eight years ago, Coke ran an ad campaign to align itself with Canada's cheers for Team Canada. Where Pepsi chose to tell us we were doing it wrong, Coke told us we were doing it right. Here's a Coke ad from 2002 that the Pepsi Canada marketing executives should have watched before agreeing to the national embarrassment that is Cheer Nation.

They say there's no such thing as bad publicity so long as they spell your name right. I strongly disagree. This Pepsi campaign couldn't have gone worse, and the moment I saw the first ad I knew it would fail. The backlash against Pepsi amongst this nations millions and millions of hockey fans will be felt for a long, long time. In fact, every time my team loses a game, and as a Leafs fan that's all the time, I now blame it on that damn Pepsi cheer.

But that Coke ad is pretty good. They seem to get it. Pepsi should take notes.

Other Toronto Mike Pepsi Cheer Rants:

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Comments (7 - click here to join in!)


Coke got it right. A great ad by Coke. The second I saw the Pepsi ad, I was disgusted. Did they not do focus groups?

January 10, 2010 @ 6:02 AM

jason | getyouroj.com

..but is anyone besides you still talking about it? This is the only place I've even heard about it, because I donl't watch NHL hockey.

I'm sure Pepsi Cola will survive.

January 10, 2010 @ 9:35 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

If you don't watch hockey on TSN - which means no Leafs and no Juniors - then you very well may have missed this entire campaign. Consider yourself lucky.

The fact is, most Canadians did watch hockey on TSN over the past month. I think the new PPM numbers showed 8 million watched the Junior final. That's a lot of Canadians.

I assure you, of that 8 million, I'm not the only person still talking about it. Amongst that 8 million, there's a very sour taste in the mouth thanks to Pepsi.

And yes, Pepsi will survive.

January 10, 2010 @ 10:03 AM

Tym Machine

I hope that Pepsi folks in their marketing department are watching and taking notes. This could prevent them from doing a second major fluke like this one which will make them lose millions of dollars in sales that might as well go to one of their major competitor, not to name one: Coca Cola.

January 10, 2010 @ 1:55 PM

Tym Machine

"And yes, Pepsi will survive."

The point is not about the survival of Pepsi which is out of question beyond any shade of doubt, the point is that this ad campaign that cost millions of dollars to Pepsi was a complete utter failure and that the fact that they lost consumers is VERY likely while the fact that they gain consumers is highly unlikely.

However, one can learn from its mistakes by acknowledging them and try to not repeat them and Pepsi is doomed for a 5 years mistake free even though their survival will never be at stake but loss in profits definitely will be at stake.

January 10, 2010 @ 1:59 PM


I'm not in marketing but doesn't the possibility still exist that they will try the campaign somewhere else? E.g. baseball, football, lacrosse etc. Major corporations do not like to admit failure...especially if big money has already been spent.

January 11, 2010 @ 9:33 AM

Dan Nedelko

I agree 100% and check out my take on the whole stupid pepsi cheer fiasco:


I'm in marketing and this was just done WRONG on every single level imaginable. Anyhow - great post. TTYL.

January 27, 2010 @ 9:18 PM

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