Guerilla Marketing in the Cola Industry.
Today, the United States cola market is reportedly worth over $300 billion annually with each share point encompassing millions of dollars. The two major players in the beverage industry are Coca-Cola Co. and Pepsi-Cola Co.; each company is locked in combat with each other to vie for the loyalty of millions of American beverage drinkers. This "cola war" uses a constant bombardment of radio, magazine, newspaper, and television advertisements as its main weapon with a seemingly endless cache of advertising dollars as the ammunition. (3) With the two beverage behemoths throwing $309 million in 2001 and $272 million in 2002 into exposure time, an estimated total of $500 million seems only appropriate for 2003. (6).
According to Information Resources Inc., six out of the top 10 new pace-setting food and beverage products that "have gained critical mass since 2000 and have kept growing were beverages". (2) Four out of the six beverages were new soft drinks created by Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola. In the midst of a period of rapid innovation unlike any this country has ever seen, these two companies have had to keep up the pace for ingenuity for new flavors and also for the creation of new forms of advertisement. The old marketing approach of customer-relations management has been effectively replaced by guerilla marketing approaches in today's soft drink market. (5) Guerilla tactics uses unconventional marketing methods to gain conventional results. They are designed to quickly get a good return on advertising investment and rely heavily on creativity, good relationships, and the willingness of the company to try many different approaches. (9).
Recognizing the fact that most people aren't thinking about their business and that they"ll only give about half their attention to an advertisement is the reason why such large quantities of assets must be used by the Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.