NEWS: Pepsi ponders blue Santa campaign in bid to combat Coke

Pepsi is considering its cheekiest stunt yet to thwart its rival, Coca- Cola - an advertising campaign in which Santa Claus swaps his traditional red suit for a blue one.

Pepsi is considering its cheekiest stunt yet to thwart its rival, Coca-

Cola - an advertising campaign in which Santa Claus swaps his

traditional red suit for a blue one.



It would be the most vicious swipe to date at Coke, which first dressed

Santa in red for an ad campaign more than 60 years ago.



Industry sources say Pepsi marketing chiefs are considering an extension

of this year’s pounds 300 million ‘blue’ campaign through a seasonal

theme by making a blue-clad Father Christmas its centrepiece.



Such a campaign would cause consternation at Coke, which is responsible

for creating the universally recognisable image of Santa Claus.



In 1931, Coke hired the artist, Haddon Sundblom, to produce an

illustration of Santa Claus in the company colours for an ad campaign.

Previously, he had been portrayed in many guises, from pixie to demon.



Speculation about the stunt comes in the wake of doubts about the

effectiveness of Pepsi’s huge revamp.



There have been suggestions that Project Blue has resulted in a slight

drop in Pepsi sales, while Coke claims to have outsmarted its rival

through its sponsorship of Euro 96.



Project Blue involved print ads through Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in

which red objects, such as a Labour rosette and the ace of hearts, were

depicted in blue.



Pepsi-Cola International in New York, which orchestrated Project Blue,

denies any plans to turn Santa Claus blue, and Pepsi executives in the

UK say such a campaign is extremely unlikely.



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