Pepsi celebrates ‘pop and fizz’ of cola as it shifts brand positioning

Pepsi is introducing a new global tagline, ‘For The Love Of It’, as it brings the focus of its marketing back to the product and celebrates its music heritage.

Pepsi has overhauled its marketing to make more of the unique attributes of cola, introducing a new global marketing platform and tagline that marks the first major change to the brand’s identity in seven years.

The tagline, ‘For The Love Of It’, will roll out across more than 100 countries throughout 2019 and aims to “celebrate the pop and fizz of the cola like never before”. It replaces ‘Live For Now’,  the brand’s first global strapline which was introduced in 2012, and will include out-of-home, TV and digital ads alongside a package redesign.

The new ads focus primarily on the cola drink, marking a break away from previous ads that have been centered around brand purpose. In 2017, Pepsi infamously sparked social media outrage with its Kendall Jenner advert, which was accused of trivialising the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.

READ MORE: Pepsi’s ad failure shows the importance of diversity and market research

Roberto Rios, senior vice-president of marketing at PepsiCo, says: “We are confidently celebrating who we are – an iconic brand rooted in entertainment with a refreshing and delicious beverage people around the world love – as well as who our fellow cola lovers are.”

The move comes as Pepsi sales, in the UK at least, struggle for growth. Pepsi had an 18.1% share of the carbonated drinks market in the UK in 2018 behind Coca-Cola on 49%, according to figures from Euromonitor. Pepsi’s share has been in decline, falling from 18.7% in 2016, while Coca-Cola’s is on the rise.

Despite a push into healthier categories by its parent PepsiCo, the company is still heavily reliant on sales of fizzy drinks, which make up over half its soft drinks sales, making turning that performance around of major strategic importance.

To do that, Pepsi needs could seemingly do with giving its brand an injection of interest. According to YouGov BrandIndex, Pepsi’s index score (which is based on a combination of metrics including quality, value and recommendation) comes in at 3.6, putting it 13th in a list of carbonated drinks behind Coca-Cola, which is in third on 8.5. However, Pepsi Max (the only variant that Pepsi promotes in Western Europe) performs better than Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, with scores of 6.5 and 4.8 respectively.

Bringing its music heritage to the fore

Alongside the new strapline, Pepsi is looking to bring its music heritage to the fore as part of the marketing revamp. Music is a core part of the brand’s heritage, with the drink featuring iconic singers including Britney Spears and Michael Jackson over the years, and the brand is looking to continue that focus by partnering with music manager Simon Fuller.

As part of the deal, Fuller, who manages the Spice Girls, will get his latest band – Now United – to record a new Pepsi jingle. The group is made up of 14 singers and dancers from around the world with large social media followings and Pepsi promises to “create amazing experiences and content with the group and their fans” when Now United tours.

Rios adds: “’For The Love of It’ is our rallying cry, proudly saying to go all in for the things you love – from passions and interests like football and music, to unabashedly enjoying one of life’s favourite treats – Pepsi.”

The first ads are likely to air in Latin American and eastern European markets, while Pepsi Max versions of the creative will air in the UK and across Western Europe later this year.

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