Pre-Ramadan warm-up act - Coke VS Pepsi

Hello friends,

Its been just a bit under a year since we've last met, there’s been quite a lot happening over these past couple of months, I believe advertising critiques wouldn’t be too relevant to what the country was going through since Jan 25… And since the ad season is coming up soon (Summer and Ramadan) w kol sana wento tayyebeen…. 2olt astafta7 b ta2too2a kda 3al khafeef.. haha!

Moving on; since the Revolution and the stepdown; we’ve seen all kinds of reform initiatives and positive patriotic messages from numerous brands (as if they suddenly remembered they were Egyptians). These ranged from pathetic attempts of commercializing the revolution with mobile ringtones, lame jingles and a commercial disaster such as لحاف الثورة (The Revolution Quilt) to respectable initiatives that relate to the brand and the current situation eg: Henkel’s El Balad Baladna campaign.

Here I’m just showcasing the 2 advertising giants in the country of the same category so we’d be comparing apples to apples, Pepsi VS CocaCola.
Before I begin, I just want to point out that a lot of people see both ads extremely similar, actually some think they’re both one-n-the-same, so I’ll attempt to scrutinize both to pin point the differentiators in each then give my judgment at the end of the post.


The tone here is quite modern/upbeat.. The people in the ad are mostly tech-savvy youth dressed up in their fedoras and postmen bags, armed with I-Phones and FB posts.. Unfortunately, not all Pepsi users are of such profile.
Agreed that the revolution was a “digital revolution”, and the whole digital scene is becoming more “in” since Jan 25.. But the digital bit of the revolution was restricted to a certain group of people who were always connected with their instant FB/twitter updates and speak-to-tweet on-the-ground updates, the rest of the rebels just followed offline. So I believe it’s a bit too risky to generalize as there’s a major portion of the target audience left out here
Also the ad’s catchphrase is pretty genuine بكرة بدأ بفكرة – Tomorrow started with an idea.. But the execution was a bit over-complicated that it lost the essence of the idea… By a show of hands, how many of you related the brown bubble popping out the heads of people in the ad as the “Pepsi idea” that will make tomorrow better?? Did u even notice that people are walking around with brown bubbles over their heads? Seriously, how many of you, 30-50%? So this is us, the “sophisticated” chunk of society, when coming to show this to the rest of the Pepsi target group who are not so “sophisticated”, it’d be a bit naïve to think it’ll sink or register with a lot of them.
So generally I think there are 2 directions of why this ad came out the way it did:
1.       Pepsi is moving into being a niche brand, thus they’re talking only to a certain target group that dress, behave and think the same way – Which means they’re shooting themselves in the foot as this group of people does not exceed 3% of the population, thus their revenues and marketshare would eventually take a dip.
2.       They’re still targeting the same people, but unfortunately the way the ad is manifested missed out on the majority of their consumers.
So either way, I don’t think Pepsi did a great job here..

What I really like about their campaign though is how they’ve used the jingle to promote the whole campaign.. Generally I’m a fan of using music in promoting brands (specifically that one of Pepsi’s main communication platforms is music).
Pepsi used the “voice of the revolution”; Amir Eid to sing their jingle for the new ad, in order to capitalize on Sot El Horeyya’s popularity.. Then they capitalized further on the jingle by airing it as a normal full song on radio stations so it’d sink in more with the people..

One thing to note though; Amir Eid and his band Cairokee did the jingle for CocaCola’s thematic campaign in Summer 2009…. Bummer!


This one is pretty straightforward, strictly focusing on its slogan: tomorrow will definitely be better!
The cinematography is extremely expressive and is a true reflection of what the country is going through at this time.. From a gloomy cloudy phase that evolves into a sunny and brighter tomorrow.

The magic word in this copy is simplicity.. It shows real Egyptians, real people; the average Jo you see on the street (well, the average 7anafi for that matter). It shows real places from Cairo; the more I watch the Coke ad, the more I think the Pepsi ad was shot abroad (although its not, if you take a closer look)
Plus it directly touches upon the “Egypt is now open for business” attitude.. So Coke says: Get up, dust urself off, work ur brains out to make this country better for you and your children.
We’re all in the same boat here, we’re all throwing hooked ropes in the sky, each and every one of us.  That’s why this copy would score higher on affinity than others.

Coke definitely won this round (by knockout kaman).. Maybe because they had a longer copy duration to showcase their ideas (1 minute vs Pepsi’s 30 seconds), but even with a longer Pepsi copy I’d pick Coke as the idea is much clearer.

Anyways, it doesn’t matter if you think that tomorrow started with an idea or if you want to make tomorrow better.. Either way, keep on smiling, work harder, be better and make this country a better place.

That’s all this time folks,
Take care,

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