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April 26, 2013

Second Time lucky for Pepsi ? - Pepsi Atom Introduction after the Pepsi Maxx disaster

Pepsi did it again. On Thursday 25th April 2013, Pepsi India introduced its second brand of Cola – Atom. Pepsi wants to cash in on the summer rush and also add weight to its product sales by piggybacking on the hype and popularity of the IPL cricket tournament. It believes it has a winner in hand – and its name Pepsi Atom.

Pepsi Atom will be available across the country in various packages including a 250 ml can at an introductory price of Rs 15 and a 500 ml PET bottle at Rs 25 and a  200 ml returnable glass bottles (RGB) which will be available in select markets at Rs 10.

Pepsi is sitting pretty in India. It outsells Coca-Cola but still Coca Cola sells better than Pepsi overall in the cola market as it has strong winners from the through bred winners that it bought over  from the competition.  These are the brands that Cola-Cola bought from Ramesh Chauhan of the Parle group – especially Thums Up. Thums Up is a out right winner. It outsells both Coke and Pepsi in India.

Pepsi must be kicking itself for not considering buying Thums up before Coca-Cola. They had all the chances. Pepsi moved into India the second time in 1989, four years before Coke. But the top guys at Pepsi must have felt that Thums up would pose a challenge to Pepsi itself. Whatever it was it proved to be a decisive mistake. Pepsi along with Thums Up would have sounded the death knell for Coca-Cola in India.

But that is all water under the bridge. Pepsi wants to counter Coca-Cola in all segments. It brought in Pepsi Maxx a zero calorie drink in August 2010 to counter Diet Coke and failed miserably. Now Peso is firing the next salvo.

Atom will be launched with a campaign and a tagline: “Piyo Josh Mein Jiyo Hosh Mein” and its endorser will be Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Pepsi is hedging Atom against Coca-Cola’s Thums up.  It is being positioned as a stronger, fizzier cola with a sharp taste. It is going to be a all-out war. The knives are out, already. Check out the words of Deepika Warrior, VP-President (beverage marketing) “the brand positioning redefines masculinity and portrays the modern Indian in a new light”

She goes on to say "The atom  campaign would be more relevant and projects relatable definition of masculinity as opposed to much hyped mindless action

No prizes for guessing whom she meant by “much hyped mindless action (Thums Up!)”. Watch this space in the coming days for more action.

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