Coke Says "Don't Dew It"

Cola wars are legendary in marketing. The latest skirmish is being brought on by Coca-Cola's "Vault Taste Challenge" promotion. Its aim: persuade consumers of Pepsi's Mtn Dew brand to switch to Coke's Vault. Mtn Dew dominates the citrus segment of the carbonated beverage market with 80% market share. In contrast, Vault has about 4% share. The promotion offers purchasers of a 20-ounce Mtn Dew a coupon for a free 16, 20, or 24-ounce Vault.

If Coca-Cola's marketing objective is to increase market share for Vault, this promotion seems to have a shot at making it happen. The Vault Taste Challenge allows consumers to try Vault risk free. It is possible that people who buy Mtn Dew out of habit (but not necessarily out of brand loyalty), could be enticed to purchase Vault occasionally, if not switch to Vault altogether. Also, the fact that the coupon-based promotion is running during a time when there is greater interest in coupons among consumers could help the appeal of the Vault Taste Challenge.

Expenses associated with executing the promotion will not be cheap, but if the result is new customers for Vault it will be worth it. Add to that the ability to measure the effectiveness of a promotion like this, and it is not surprising to see Coca-Cola say "don't Dew it!" to cola consumers.

Link: Ad Age - "Coke: Buy 1 Rival, Get Our Brand Free"

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