Coke vs Pepsi: the Battle for…

Coke vs Pepsi: the Battle for Online Dominance

The gauntlet in the Cola Wars was first thrown down in 1975 when the “Pepsi Challenge” was issued. In a Pepsi-sponsored advertising campaign, soda drinkers were asked to blind taste-test Coke vs. Pepsi. Since then, the two soda behemoths have fiercely battled each other over dominance in the billion-dollar soft drink industry.

But after 40 years of relentless advertising with various slogans and rolling out different flavors of soda (New Coke, anyone?) have they completely saturated their respective markets? If not, what are the differences in their consumers? And what are their gaps, specifically in terms of the audiences that they are not yet reaching, but need to be? What is the best way to reach those segments?

In order to find out we created two segments in Connexity’s Audience View platform. One was built using consumers who reported that they drink Pepsi products but do not drink any Coca Cola. And the other was built around those who identified as drinking Coke products and do not drink Pepsi.

One significant standout in the analysis of the two segments is the age difference between the consumers of the two brands:



The Median age for Pepsi drinkers was 52, with ages 55-64 the most over-indexed against the total population and age 65+ the largest group. Coke drinkers skewed younger, with a median age of 47, ages 35-44 as both the largest and most over-indexed group, and ages 25-34 as the second most over-indexed group. But alarmingly for both brands, they share the most under-indexed age group of 18-24. This is an ominous sign for the future of their businesses, as millennials are clearly renouncing soda—perhaps for health reasons.

Another area that revealed interesting audience differences was with political leanings. Pepsi over-indexes with Green Traditionalists by 14% and Left-Out Democrats by 12%, while under-indexing with Uninvolved Conservatives by 16% and Ultra Conservatives by 11%. Conversely, Coke over-indexes with Mild Republicans by 21% and Ultra Conservatives by 10% while under-indexing with Conservative Democrats by 11% and Left Out Democrats by 10%. Striking differences indeed, especially with the Presidential election mere weeks away.



All of the data above was pulled using Hitwise’s AudienceView platform, which uses over 60,000 variables to identify high-opportunity audience segments for brands — and then helps them figure out the best way to reach them.

For more information or a free demo of the AudienceView product, please reach ­out to us here.


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