By now you’ve probably seen the ad campaign for Pepsi’s so-called “Throwback” soda. The main selling point is that it’s made with real sugar, which of course only serves to point out that their usual product is not (it is of course made with high fructose corn syrup, which is evil, but that’s for another time). (Incidentally, you can also find “Throwback” Mountain Dew and “Heritage” Dr. Pepper for a limited time.)
So PepsiCo now finds itself in the awkward position of trying to sell their limited-edition product by making their flagship product seem less desirable or outright inferior by comparison. After all, any sane person watching an ad touting Throwback Pepsi as being made with real sugar might ask themselves, “So what’s in the Pepsi I drink now? And is it any good?” It’s a bold marketing strategy to be sure, and one not without an element of risk. And I can’t help but wonder what it be like if other companies adopted this strategy with their products…
- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Now with funny jokes!
- Windows 7: Only half as likely as Vista to turn your PC into a doorstop!
- GM: We feel pretty confident you’ll like our new cars for 60 days. After that, not so much.
- AT&T Wireless: You can surf the web while you talk on the phone, which will come in handy when you want to see where the nearest Verizon store is.**
- Domino’s Pizza: We were just kidding with that other recipe, this stuff is definitely edible. Mostly.
- Wal-Mart: Hey, at least we’re not K-Mart.
**This ad campaign, featuring the fat Wilson brother, is currently airing.