Barack Obama and the Pepsi Challenge

Barack Obama reminds me of the New Coke and the Pepsi Challenge as described in Malcolm Gladwell's national bestseller Blink (2005). This story starts in the 1980s, when Pepsi was making serious inroads in the market for cola soft drinks in spite of the fact that Coke had a far greater distribution presence, spent a $100 million more than Pepsi in advertising, and was a true iconic American brand.  Pepsi capitalized on its up-trend by aggressively running TV commercials pitting Coke and Pepsi in a head-to-head taste test in what was then called the Pepsi Challenge.  In it, dedicated Coke drinkers were shown taking a couple of sips of two unmarked cola drinks and asked which one they preferred.  By a significant majority, they picked Pepsi over Coke.  Coca-Cola's management couldn't believe these results, which seemed to confirm the current market trend.  And so they privately conducted their own taste tests. ...(Read Full Article)

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