When refresh meant… Coke


If ever a brand owned an idea it was Coca Cola. McCann-Erickson got it. Early Coke brand managers got it. The people definitely got it. The idea was “refreshment.” Coke ads made you feel in your bones the total and utter refreshment from its unique, thirst-quenching taste. 

(Not a big Coke drinker, I once came off the Appalachian Trail parched, craving a Coke. I found one and it was other-worldly.)

Pepsi which has always had smart marketers on its team realizes “refreshment” is Coke’s provenance and has for the most part stayed away. But today Pepsi is jumping on the word in its new “refresh everything” campaign tied to change in America.  As it is with much of Pepsi’s work, this is a borrowed interest approach (not based on an inherent product quality) so it won’t be that effective. And the consumer generated content side of the program is a bit weak. But Pepsi will spend so it may muddle the “refreshment” waters.  

Coke needs to defend its refreshment position and it needs to do it now. Get back to what refresh meant.