The Pepsi brand has been involved in producing some of the largest amounts of beverages internationally for over 100 years. Ever since its creation so many years ago, Pepsi has been taking part in a constant battle with Coca-Cola to see who could create and market the ultimate soft drink.
The competition was fierce, and each company was trying new and persuasive marketing techniques in an attempt to get customers to choose their drink over the competitors.
Pepsi and Coca-Cola have been battling it out for superiority ever since their brands were invented many years ago. In 1893, Caleb Bradham created the first-ever recipe for his drink that was at the time called “Brad’s drink.” By 1893, the name was changed, and Pepsi-Cola was born.
The original purpose of the drink was not to act as just a tasty and refreshing drink, but Pepsi was originally intended to help in digestion and boost the drinkers’ energy.
Pepsi truly took off and became a big name during the great depression when they began to sell their drink in a 10 ounce can for a nickel which allowed the poor American people to have something to keep them full during the worst economic crisis America had ever seen.
In the 1900s, Pepsi really began to grow as new marketing efforts attempted to solidify them as the go-to brand for soda. However, the Coca-Cola company was right beside them battling for a take of the American drink market.
Each company has devoted millions of dollars to promote their brand as superior, with Pepsi even painting a Concorde jet in its new colors to spread their message to consumers.
The extravagant marketing each company was committed to mean that one of them had to do something to directly show people that their drink was better.
This is wherein 1975 the Pepsi challenge was born. The Pepsi challenge swept the nation and had people questioning their brand loyalty as more people were preferring Pepsi to Coca-Cola without even realizing it.
See their commercial add further down. Stirring up nostalgia?
The overall impact of the challenge was a more widespread awareness of the Pepsi brand and shuck up public option as to which some people really did prefer despite their brand loyalties.
The Researcher Malcolm Gladwell tested the results of the Pepsi challenge and deduced that no matter what someone would normally have a preference to drink, someone who is given the choice between two beverages to take one sip of, the sweeter one will normally be chosen as tasting better in the moment.
How to Perform the Pepsi Challenge
With just a few simple steps, you can be on your way to trying out your very own Pepsi challenge.
1. Gather the materials
To try the Pepsi challenge, you really only need 3 things. The first thing you will need is several plain white cups. The purpose of the identical and plain cups is so that the minds of the test subjects have no way to differentiate the drinks other than taste alone.
The second thing you will need is the drinks themselves. This step can be tricky because you need to keep the conditions of the drinks almost identical.
Lastly, you need to find some willing test subjects. This should be easy enough as most people won’t refuse the chance to test their knowledge on what they think to be their preferred drink.
2. Have the volunteers try the drinks
Step two of the Pepsi challenge is to have the test subjects try each of the drinks. There is no concrete data saying which drink has to be tried first, so the order in which they try the soda is less important. Make sure that each participant only has one sip of each drink as this is part of the reason for the differing preferences in drink choice.
3. Get feedback and preferences
Once the test subjects have tried both drinks, it is time to get their feedback. The original test had test subject select which drink they prefer and then the administrator would reveal which soda was which.
The next thing you can have them do before revealing which drink is which is to guess which drink they think is Pepsi and which one they think is Coke. Most people are fairly confident in their answers as they believe that they know which one they should like better.
4. Organize and analyze the data
After running the test on a large enough number of people to get conclusive results, you can now organize and analyze your data.
As mentioned earlier, most people will lean towards the sweeter drink on one sip despite their normal preferences.
You can draw whatever conclusions you want from the data, but now you have your own answer to the question of which drink people really prefer.
The New Pepsi Challenge
The goal of the challenges is to use social media and celebrities to have people take positive action in their communities and to use Pepsi as a way to spread positive messages.
The worldwide reach of social media created an entirely new type of challenge and Pepsi led the charge with its drink.