Magazine article Marketing

Pepsi Challenges Clarke Hooper to Put Fizz into Battle with Coke

Magazine article Marketing

Pepsi Challenges Clarke Hooper to Put Fizz into Battle with Coke

Article excerpt

Pepsi challenges Clarke Hooper to put fizz into battle with coke

Pepsi UK is to step up its assault on Coca-Cola with the appointment of its first external sales promotion agency to co-ordinate the 1991 UK Pepsi Challenge campaign.

Pepsi still has only a quarter of Coca-Cola's 45% share of the UK cola market and its 1990 UK marketing budget to October was around half Coke's [pounds]12m. The company has taken on Clarke Hooper Consulting to help orchestrate what it claims is the biggest packaged goods sampling promotion "to be run in the UK over the past three years".

Fifteen weeks between May and September have been set aside for the Challenge, now in its third year in the UK. One million people will be invited to test their taste buds in competition with "the other leading cola" in high volume consumer traffic areas such as superstores, air shows and pop concerts.

The appointment of Clarke Hooper, whose clients include the AA, Heinz, NatWest and Rover, indicates a more serious approach to the Challenge by Pepsi, which in the past has used in-house sales promotion teams.

Clarke Hooper has been working with Pepsi for the past nine months on its Tina Turner/Rod Stewart advertising and sponsorship campaigns.

Clarke Hooper client services director Simon Adams says although Pepsi "is coming from a long way behind", the Challenge has shown Pepsi to "consistently outperform" Coke in blind taste tests. He says the brand is preferred by about 58% of consumers.

Adams admits, however, that Pepsi's UK marketing strategy is "quite fragmented" and claims Clarke Hooper is talking to the company about greater future integration. …

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