The three campaigns for the three divisions all made it onto Video Storyboards Tests lists of outstanding campaigns. So it's rather fitting that, in the same quarter of Mr. Enrico's anointment as only the third CEO of PepsiCo, the flagship brand returns to the top of the ad heap. And though Pepsi has made our quarterly Top 10 list ever since we've been compiling it-a distinction it shares only with McDonald's-two years have passed since its last No. 1.
But what's different about Pepsi this time is that it dominates with a Coca-Cola style campaign. That is, instead of one commercial carrying the quarter, Pepsi built this rating on multiple executions: 27% of the respondents who rated Pepsi's campaign outstanding did so for "Security Camera"; 25% for "Fish"; 16% for others.
Consider by comparison, some of Pepsi's previously big single execution years-"Puppies" dominated in 1978, Lionel Richie in 1985, Shaquille O'Neal's "Playground" in 1993 and Cindy Crawford/Rodney Dangerfield ("Deprivation Tank") in 1994.
The change is a payback for Coke's achieving a similar reversal in 1980. As I reported in Advertising Age, when "Mean Joe Greene" was rated the year's top spot: "It's really a Pepsi commercial in Coke's clothing."
Cola advertising is entering a new era. Both leaders are relying on multiple executions. While Coca-Cola is leaning heavily on segmentation, Pepsi appears to stay with its signature creativity for broad appeal.
Dave Vadehra is president of Video Storyboard Tests, New York.