The world is divided. Some people enjoy the classic feeling. Others, prefer to be the next generation. Whether you're a Coca-Cola or a Pepsi fan boy, you have witnessed the constant war between these two giants. When you place this war under a microscope, it's possible to see how these companies have tried to change their brand awareness during the years, trying to overcome each other.

When it was first introduced back in 1886, Coke didn't have much opponents in the cola drink market. That until 1898 when Pepsi was released and the rivalry between these two exploded, making the need for brand positioning really urgent for both.

In marketing, positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization. It is the 'relative competitive comparison' their product occupies in a given market as perceived by the target market. - Wikipedia

Since both were developed and introcuded by pharmicists, they claimed that both drinks had medicinal properties. Coke's 1900 slogan was "For headache and exhaustion, drink Coca-Cola", while Pepsi's 1903 slogan was "Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion". In 1929, Pepsi claimed: "Here's Health!"

Branding: Slogan Wars Between Coke and Pepsi

Coke has been selling a "refreshing" and "satisfying" image for a longer time than Pepsi. Here's a quick list of slogans that remind us a lot of those we see today:

  • 1904 - Coca-Cola satisfies
  • 1904 - Delicious and Refreshing
  • 1905 - Good all the way down
  • 1906 - Thirst quenching - delicious and refreshing
  • 1907 - Cooling... refreshing... delicious
  • 1909 - Delicious, wholesome, refreshing
  • 1909 - Delicious, wholesome, thirst quenching
  • 1909 - Drink delicious Coca-Cola

Branding: Slogan Wars Between Coke and Pepsi

In the other hand, Pepsi tried to show that their drink was better for small pockets, having more ounces of drink avaiable in each bottle. Check it out:

  • 1934 - Double Size
  • 1939 - Twice as Much for a Nickel
  • 1943 - Bigger Drink, Better Taste
  • 1949 - Why Take Less When Pepsi's Best?

After that, since Coca-Cola was the top selling cola drink for so long, Pepsi started to change their awereness. Pepsi had to find a way to make people think different of what they were used to. Making Coke look old was solution they found.

  • 1961 - Now It's Pepsi for Those Who Think Young
  • 1963 - Come Alive! You're in the Pepsi Generation
  • 1984 - The Choice of a New Generation
  • 1989 - A Generation Ahead
  • 1993 - Be Young, Have Fun, Drink Pepsi
  • 1997 - Generation Next

Althought its reign was never trembled by Pepsi, Coke replied these slogans reaffirming its untouchable quality and tradition.

  • 1942 - The only thing like Coca-Cola is Coca-Cola itself
  • 1945 - Whenever you hear "Have a Coke," you hear the voice of America
  • 1970 - It's the real thing
  • 1985 - America's Real Choice
  • 1989 - Can't Beat the Feeling
  • 1990 - Can't Beat the Real Thing
  • 1993 - Always Coca-Cola

Branding: Slogan Wars Between Coke and Pepsi

Branding: Slogan Wars Between Coke and Pepsi

Another detail that makes clear to us that Coke never felt threaten is the fact that the Coca-Cola logo was hardly ever changed. The times Coke tried some change, the feedback was all negative, and they had to bring back the classic logo. Pepsi has been changing its logo since ever, adjusting themselves to each generation, making their way to become the "young choice".

Branding is Not a Science From our post "Branding is not a Science is it?"

Branding: Slogan Wars Between Coke and Pepsi This is pretty much the evolution of the Coca-Cola logo.

And now we'd love to hear from you guys what do you all think about this slogan war. How do you find yourself between these two giants? Which branding do you prefer? Tell us! Cheers! ;)

About the author of this post

I'm Paulo Gabriel, a Publicist by degree and Designer by passion with a taste for the meaningful and emotional. I work at Printi as a Designer and Front-End Developer. Here at Abduzeedo, I always try to bring you only amazing content, things that mean something for me and for those around me.