The perennial Coke-versus-Pepsi battle has just become a bit more personal. Pepsi this month released a series of ads humorously targeting icons traditionally associated with Coca-Cola, such as polar bears and jolly old St. Nick.
In one ad, tanned polar bears cruise the waters of the North Pole as the ad's catch-phrase announces, "Summer time is Pepsi time." The ad is a clear send-off of the long-running Coca-Cola polar bears campaign.
Another ad seeks to break the long-running association between Coke and Santa Claus. After all, our modern image of Santa comes from a 1930s Coke ad, and this fact is interpreted in the ad to mean Santa has an exclusivity deal with Coke -- one he is clearly willing to ignore on summer vacation.
Massimo D'Amore, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages Americas, says the ads are meant to be humorous. "Like many wars, there are moments of truce and moments of war," he told the Financial Times. "Consumers like the healthy competition, and we felt this was the right time to have another episode."