Pepsi Canada took a big risk back in 1976 when it challenged consumers to a blind taste test, hoping that they’d not only top rival Coke but also that some of those folks who generally purchased Coca-Cola would surprise themselves and choose Pepsi.
Well, it worked then and the company hopes that it will keep on working this summer. PepsiCo Beverages Canada has announced that it is touring the nation this summer to administer the test to 1.5 million consumers at more than 1,000 events across the land.
With all this energy being thrown into it, Pepsi has gone ahead and renamed the promotion the Pepsi Ultimate Taste Challenge, which makes one wonder how they can possibly top that in the future.
Since 1976, the company has given nine million taste tests and this summer’s taste tests will feature the use of new technology, more than a thousand local events, and tricked-out semi-trailer crossing the country.
The accompanying TV commercial ("Earl 2.0") riffs on the brands' playful rivalry that depicts employees switching sides, most recently in the 2012 Pepsi Max Super Bowl commercial.
The local experiential campaign will augment Pepsi's global marketing campaign, Live For Now, just now getting under way.
"Canadians love programs that allow them to experience brands in unexpected and entertaining ways. Every few years we bring the Pepsi Taste Challenge in and out of the marketplace, always adding new elements to keep it fun, fresh and exciting," says Robb Hadley, Director of Marketing, PepsiCo Beverages Canada, according to a press release. "Pepsi has always been about taste, and given the choice, results of prior taste challenges consistently revealed that a majority of Canadians preferred the taste of Pepsi over Coca-Cola."
The technology that is being integrated into the taste-testing experience is the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface, a tablet table that “sees and responds to touch and objects on a 40-inch, high definition, multi-touch screen,” the release notes.
And for French Canadians, PepsiCo Canada is rolling out a campaign with "les Denis Drolet" in Quebec this summer — more details ici.
[Top image via Shutterstock]