Pepsi reported higher than expected sales last Thursday and said it would ramp up investments in US soda advertising to counter the sector’s ongoing stale spell. However, the enterprise should tread carefully in terms of allocating ad spend to soft drinks, as its water brands are currently driving more success.
Familiar foe Coca-Cola also reported high growth last week, much of which stemmed from its classic soda beverages. Countering the decline in soda popularity, Coke was able to refresh its original offerings with new, millennial-friendly flavors like Feisty Cherry and Ginger Lime. While Pepsi has shown signs of wanting to revitalize its iconic product with its “Pepsi Generations” campaign, it’s still too early to know whether those investments have paid off.
Pepsi placed ahead of Coca-Cola in L2’s most recent Digital IQ Index: Beverages. However, that success is more complicated than it may appear. While Coca-Cola had only one brand at the top of the ranking as compared to Pepsi’s two (Pepsi and Gatorade), the enterprise did a better job overall of maintaining the digital presence of its brands. Only three of Coca-Cola’s nineteen brands were at the bottom of the Index, while Pepsi saw four of its eleven brands join the Feeble category.
Last year, Pepsi’s largest digital investments went to its soda drinks. This year, the brand might want to consider a more even digital spread to keep from fizzling out.