ATLANTA/NEW YORK: Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, the world's biggest cola brands, are both launching innovative initiatives to broaden their appeal to US consumers.
Coca-Cola is putting the lyrics from more than 70 popular songs on its packaging and will launch a major campaign in April to promote the move through music-themed TV ads and social media.
Meanwhile, PepsiCo, the owner of the Pepsi brand, is going down a different route after launching a new premium brand aimed at tapping into the growing trend, especially among younger consumers, for "craft" and artisan drinks.
Coke's "Share a Coke and a Song" campaign will see the lyrics of hit songs like Queen's "We Are The Champions" and Lee Greenwood's "I'm Proud To Be An American", stamped on cans and bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Lite.
With the stated aim of using every Coke to "connect music fans with family and friends", the company is encouraging US consumers to customise bottles and access digital images to share on social media.
Fans of the campaign also will be able to scan the lyrics on specially marked 20-ounce bottles on the Shazam music app, after which they will be invited to record a digital "lip-sync" video and share their creation on social media using the #ShareaCoke hashtag.
"Song lyrics strike an emotional chord in people, capturing what we are feeling while helping us express what we want to say," said Joe Belliotti, head of global music marketing, Coca-Cola North America.
"We're setting the summer to music to inspire and connect fans through the special moments that are created when they share a Coke."
Meanwhile, Pepsi's new craft beverage is called 1893 to reflect the company's heritage and its founding date under Caleb Bradham. It comes in two flavours, Original and Ginger Cola, and is made from kola nut extract, fairtrade sugar and sparkling water.
"We were energised by the food revolution, and inspired by consumer interest in bold and interesting taste combinations," said Chad Stubbs, vice-president of marketing for Pepsi.
"We were also motivated by our past, so we created these unique 1893 taste experiences to honour the passion of our founder, Caleb Bradham."
Although this is not Pepsi's first foray into the popular craft beverage market – it introduced Caleb Kola in honour of its founder in 2014 – this is the brand owner's latest bid to ride the growing consumer trend for authenticity, individuality and heritage.
Data sourced from Coca-Cola, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff