It’s been long time since Cola Wars started as a campaign of mutually-targeted television advertisements and marketing campaigns between two biggest soft drink manufacturers The Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Decades later these two companies still consider each other as main competitors and do everything to surpass each other in delivering better, more engaging advertising campaigns that will make people choose one brand over another.
To distinguish themselves they have targeted different audiences. Coca-Cola advertising has historically focused on wholesomeness and nostalgia for childhood. Coca-Cola advertising is often characterized as “family-friendly”, and often relies on “cute” characters. They also target diverse audience, taking into consideration geographical and cultural aspects. Pepsi Cola, on another hand, always have young generation in mind, praising youth and coolness. It is known for its campaigns with music and sports celebrities.
“Unbelievable” campaign from Pepsi
Both companies embrace digital innovations, trying to strengthen their marketing efforts. For the last 4 years they paid close attention to augmented reality technology as one of the most effective in terms of ROI. Augmented Reality allows everyday marketing materials (print, digital, multimedia, and even GPS locations) to be infused with highly interactive multimedia experiences like videos, 3D models of products and characters, and even infused with extremely detailed analytics and content targeting.
Study, conducted by Hidden Ltd. showed, that the percentage of people buying a product after viewing the augmented reality experience is around 74% against 45% of those, who bought a product after reading 2D printed display advert.
Keeping this in mind, an interesting trend can be observed for both of these brands as they recently introduced augmented reality campaigns related to sport events. Coca-Cola launched a campaign dedicated to the World Cup 2014 with mini-bottles that can be activated by means of an application on mobile phones. The idea behind this campaign is that after users activate the app on their devices by pointing them at the bottle they can choose their favorite football teams and create personalized animations, which will be visible to other people, who scan the same type of mini-bottle around the world.
At the same time, Pepsi announced a major campaign, dedicated to the NFL Super Bowl, which will take place in 2015. More than 19 million special Pepsi cans are planned to produce in the United States. These special cans contain only a small logo of NFL and an on-pack call-to-action that guides consumers through how to bring the can to life through augmented reality platform Blippar. Aluminum cans serve as 3D-markers that can be used for augmented reality. After starting the application fans have access to materials for football fans can take pictures with the images of NFL players.
Earlier Pepsi launched an interactive AR bus stop in London, used augmented reality technology to further promote its association with TV magician Dynamo, made Jamaicans dance with Michael Jackson and made Pepsi bottles beat box (“see the music” campaign).
“Arctic Home” campaign from Coca Cola and WWF
Coca Cola in return did not use its bottles and cans as the main source of creativity. The company is famous for its Arctic Home campaign held at the Science Museum in London and Move to the beat campaign launched in Belgium cinemas which made visitors dance and have fun in front of the screen.
Analyzing topics for augmented related campaigns that Coca-Cola and Pepsi choose we can see that they are in line with a general brand’s orientation, e.g. Coca-Cola’s campaigns are targeted towards people of different age around the world, while Pepsi prefer to highlight things that can be fun and interesting for young people in countries they live in. Beside this both companies create original engaging marketing campaigns that make people smile.
All in all, experience of Pepsi and Coca-Cola shows that augmented reality is a technology that has already resulted in some of the marketing world’s most staggering and unprecedented engagement and return on investment.