This fascinating map recently came to my attention. It shows the strong regional differences in the way Americans refer to ‘soda.’ There is a large ‘pop’ zone extending across the mid-West, while the South is ‘Coke’ country – appropriately enough since Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta. California is a soda zone, and there is a curious cluster of soda-speakers around St. Louis Missouri.
In the map pop is blue, coke is red and soda is yellow/green.
Coca cola would have liked everyone to be singing on the same page, but its bid for global hegemony has failed.
Many countries around the world have proudly defended their indigenous colas. Examples include Inca Kola in Peru (actually founded by an Englishman in 1935).
In Russia the Ni Kola (No Cola) company has been marketing kvas, a traditional non-alcoholic beer type drink, as an anti-American beverage.
This ad shows what happens when Dad returns home having started to drink Coke. The expert says “No to cola-nization. Kvas is the health of the nation.”
In this ad the man, speaking in bad Russian, lists the benefits that the US has given to the world, and says that kvas is uncivilized.
India saw the introduction of Thums Up cola in 1977 after Coke gave up trying to market its own products in the face of protectionist barriers. In 1990 Pepsi entered India, and in 1993 Thums Up was bought out by Coca Cola.This ad nicely connects Thums Up to the Durga Puja festival in Kolkata.
Coke uses Thums Up to attack Pepsi. Here is an anti-Thums Up ad from Pepsi.
I think the ad is making fun of the Thums Up commercials which show their hero doing dangerous stunts.
I addressed the question of Beer and Nationalism in an earlier post. For an update on this important theme, see this posting on beer commercials and the preparations for ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand.