Pepsi Invades Atlanta

Coke and Pepsi have long been rivals and Pepsi recently invaded Coke's territory in Atlanta. (Sean Loyless/Flickr)

Coke and Pepsi have long been rivals and Pepsi recently invaded Coke’s territory in Atlanta. (Sean Loyless/Flickr)

Eli Weiner, Managing Editor

Weeks before the coin toss of the biggest football game in the country, the Pepsi marketing team placed multiple teasing messages on billboards across Atlanta, home of Coca-Cola. One read “Pepsi in Atlanta. How refreshing,” while a different billboard displayed the phrase, “Hey Atlanta, Thanks For Hosting. We’ll Bring The Drinks.” Pepsi is one of the Super Bowl’s biggest sponsors, and according to CNN, the company quickly placed over 350 signs across Atlanta. “We are absolutely leaning in to make sure that we are painting Atlanta blue during the Super Bowl” said Greg Lyons, the Chief Marketing Officer for Pepsi.

In a city that bleeds Coca-Cola red, the sight of a blue Pepsi sign erected only blocks away from the Coca-Cola museum is truly unsettling to Coke supporters. Since 1886, Coke has been ingrained into Atlanta’s culture as the go-to soft drink. Coca Cola’s influence can be seen throughout Atlanta (usually) undisturbed by a Pepsi logo by its side. Not only is the orb-shaped logo itself inferior to that of Coke’s, but the taste of a Pepsi soda is far worse.

When asked about which drink he liked more, Joey Rubanenko responded with an angry outburst: “Pepsi has no place in this country. Even when I lived in D.C., I only knew one person who liked Pepsi over Coke. I considered not even watching the Super Bowl due to the Pepsi sponsorship. It’s blasphemy!” Considering that Joey isn’t even a native Atlantean, I believe that it is quite obvious which drink sits at the top of the food chain. Fellow Weber student, Brett Blase, also trashed the Pepsi brand exclaiming that “Pepsi flat out sucks. Coke doesn’t suck. It’s simple.”

Although Pepsi stomped all over Coke’s turf in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, Coke used its Super Bowl commercial to spread a positive message of unity. Coke coined the phrase “Together is beautiful” in the ad while also contributing 1 million dollars to the Atlanta National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

However, Pepsi’s marketing team made no attempt to spread any positive message as their ad was centered around the question of: “Is Pepsi OK?” Well, Pepsi, my answer is no. The artificial sweetness of your soda is torturous to my taste buds. Wes Cantrell, a Republican who represents the Atlanta suburb of Woodstock said it best: “Yeah it’s OK but I wasn’t looking for an OK experience. I was looking to have the original, the real thing.”

The Pepsi invasion on Atlanta was toxic and disrespectful. Atlanta has been built around Coca-Cola and will never change.