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Pepsi Collectables

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Pepsi History

Pepsi was first made in New Bern, North Carolina, in the early 1890s, by pharmacist Caleb Bradham and was originally called "Brad's drink". It was made of carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, rare oils, pepsin and cola nuts. As Pepsi was initially intended to cure stomach pains, Bradham coined the name Pepsi from the condition dyspepsia. The name was trademarked on June 16, 1903.

Caleb Bradham, like many pharmacists at the turn of the century, had a soda fountain in his drugstore, where he served his customers refreshing drinks that he created himself. This is where Pepsi was first served.

After seventeen years of success Caleb Bradham lost Pepsi Cola. Believing that sugar prices would rise he gambled on the stock market. Sugar prices fell and Pepsi Cola went bankrupt in 1923.

In 1931, Pepsi Cola was bought by the Loft Candy Company Loft president, Charles G. Guth, who reformulated the popular soft drink.

In 1940, history was made when the first advertising jingle was broadcast nationally. The jingle was "Nickel Nickel" an advertisement for Pepsi Cola that referred to the price of Pepsi. "Nickel Nickel" became a hit record and was recorded in 55 languages.

It first achieved success by selling its drink in recycled beer bottles, which allowed it to sell larger bottles for lower cost than Coke. Pepsi thus became viewed as the soft drink of the lower classes. In the United States, Pepsi was viewed as the drink of blacks and in Canada it was viewed as the drink for the Quebecois, the francophones.

In the 1950s Pepsi poured great resources into trying to improve its image. It bought many televison ads and began its long tradition of employing celebrities to sell its product. It grew and became a serious rival of the Coca-Cola corporation, but was still firmly in second place.

In the 1960s, Pepsi originated the marketing strategy known as "The Pepsi Generation". This strategy was a constant repetitious advertising of Pepsi aimed at young people. It worked under the assumption that there are new consumers coming of age every day and if one stops marketing to the newest consumers, one will have a shrinking base of established consumers of one's product. With the aging of the baby boomer generation, the advertising of Pepsi changed into the drink that keeps your youth.

In 1964, Diet Pepsi was introduced.

In the early 1980s, Pepsi began a series of advertisements called the "Pepsi Challenge", in which it directly compared its product to that of Coca-Cola, showing that people preferred their product over the competitor's (and Coca-Cola's own research showed similar results). Coca-Cola, at that time, was suffering reduced sales, and made a mistake of its own in changing the formula for its product - the new formula to be called New Coke - possibly in response to the Pepsi Challenge. This period of fierce competition between the two companies became known as the cola wars.

In 1984, then pop phenom Michael Jackson signed a multi million-dollar endorsement deal which was also a cross-promotion of his and his brothers' "Victory" tour, which Pepsi sponsored. Two commercial spots were aired featuring the Jacksons dancing with a group of neighborhood kids, including a young Alfonso Ribiero, in a concert setting.

The year 1989 saw the rise of the "Madonna Controversy." Pepsi reportedly paid Madonna $5 million for a world-wide promotional campaign tied to her song "Like A Prayer". Pepsi however did not see her video for the song until after the campaign began and promptly pulled the Madonna Pepsi commericals due to her use of burning crosses and other controversial images in her video clip.

1998 became a year of introduction for the GeneratioNEXT campaign which pitched a futuristic view of the company to youth. Racer Jeff Gordon was used as a symbol for fast, young, and powerful. Pepsi is often the most common drink at sports events, such as Major League Baseball, as well as large, arena-sized concerts. During the fall of 1998, Pepsi introduced Pepsi ONE, followed by an ambitious advertising campaign with the main slogan of "just one calorie." The cola introduced the use of Sunett (Acesulfame potassium) and aspartame to attain one calorie.

The company teamed up with George Lucas's reintroduction of Star Wars to the big screen during the summer of 1999. Twenty-four characters from the Star Wars series were introduced as artwork on the cans over the summer, creating an emphasis for a collectible set. This created a huge market saturation for awareness of the movie as momentum built up. Its current (as of 2004) slogan is "Ask for more." Pepsi has also changed the labels on all Pepsis sold in Texas (where it is the third most popular soft drink, behind Dr Pepper), renaming the drink "Pepsi Sí," in a move hoping to attract a larger Latino demographic (which largely drinks Coke), in aims that they might "say yes to Pepsi."

Pepsi Company information

Run by PepsiCo, the company also owns and operates Quaker Oats, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Tropicana. PepsiCo is a much larger corporation than The Coca-Cola Company, even if Coke still outsells Pepsi in almost all areas of the world. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PEP. The company it formed for its distribution and bottling business is the Pepsi Bottling Group, trading on the NYSE under the symbol PBG. They are both SIC 2080 (Beverage) companies.

Until 1997, it also owned Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, but these fast-food restaurants were spun off into Tricon Global Restaurants, now Yum! Brands, Inc.

Pepsi CollectablesSouth Korean Coat of Arms looks similar to the Pepsi logo, but is unrelated to it.One of the only areas of the world where Pepsi outsells Coke is the Canadian province of Quebec. Pepsi had long been the drink of Francophones and it continues to hold its dominance by relying on local Quebecois celebrities (essentially Claude Meunier, of La Petite Vie fame) to sell its product. Pepsi eventually became an offensive term, nickname, for Francophones viewed as a lower class by Anglophones in the middle of the 20th century. The term is now used as historical reference to French-English animosity. Another region where Pepsi outsells Coke is in central Appalachia in the USA.

historical info courtesy of


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