Monday, July 13, 2009

How Pepsi Won The Quebec Cola Wars

Quebec comedian Claude Meunier's (right) goofball Pepsi ads became an instant hit when they debuted on TV in 1985. Photograph by: Courtesy of Pepsi, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - Pepsi had a major problem. More specifically, Pepsi had a major Quebec problem.

After decades of protracted Cola Wars, the perennial challenger was finally making some headway on Coke in 1984, which outsold Pepsi four-to-one in Canada in the early ’70s. Waves of successful marketing campaigns, including the long-running “Take the Pepsi Challenge” taste test, helped bring Pepsi up to parity with Coke in English food stores in Canada by 1980.

Except in Quebec, which was jarring because the province had long been associated with a fondness for Pepsi – so much so the corporation’s first bottling plant outside of the U.S. opened in Montreal in 1934.

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