When Legacy Brands Try to Be ‘Hip,’ Does It Work?
Pepsi scored in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3 with its commercial including Cardi B and knocked its marketing out of the park with out-of-home ads around Atlanta.
In the meantime, Coca-Cola was apologizing on Feb. 7 for its efforts to help Delta passengers hook up in-flight by writing numbers on “creepy” branded napkins.
The companies apologized for in-flight napkins that apparently encouraged people to pass their phone number to their "plane crush," reports WSB.
The smaller print napkins read: "Be a little old school. Write down your number & give it to your plane crush. You never know," and included a space to write in that contact information, according to the Washington Post.
The larger text read: "Because you’re on a plane full of interesting people," and repeated the encouragement, "Hey … you never know."
So what do these efforts look like to consumers? When legacy brands try to stay “with it,” do they succeed, or do they look desperate? Does it matter? If they stay top-of-mind and retain market share, do they win, even if they reek of the Steve Buscemi meme, “How do you do, fellow kids?”
— Mark (@bcafcmark) February 5, 2019
If Coke’s efforts are any example, its market share shows its “thinking outside of the can” matters. (Thank you, CNN, for the pun.)
“In the last decade, Coke's market share has risen from 17.3% to 17.8%, while Pepsi's has dropped from 10.3% to 8.4%, according to Beverage Digest, a trade publication. Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have both lost ground, but Diet Coke is still far ahead.”
“As of 2018, Pepsi was advertised on TV more than any other beverage in the United States.”
Still, a legacy brand making an effort to stay hip is a good move. Because another cola brand, RC, that is less known for recent advertising, is a distant No. 3 in sales. Web searches that say “Is RC Cola still available?” and “What does RC cola taste like?” and “When did RC Cola go out of business?”
The Mental Floss headline, “The Tragic History of RC Cola,” also says a lot.
So should brands imitate Buscemi?
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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