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Weekly Marketing and Advertising News, May 28, 2021: Coke VS Pepsi: Who Wins The Marketing Game?

May 28, 2021

Weekly Marketing and Advertising News, May 28, 2021: Coke VS Pepsi: Who Wins The Marketing Game?
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Welcome to this week’s episode on The Radcast! In this week’s news episode, Ryan and Josh dissect a few of the week's top marketing headlines.

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Welcome to this week’s episode on The Radcast! In this week’s news episode, Ryan and Josh dissect a few of the week's top marketing headlines.

Here are the week's topics:

1. Data Companies Rewarding Shoppers For Personal Data

2. Instagram Shopping Catalog For Viral Products

3. Pepsi Fighting Coke's Dominance At Burger Chains

4. Study: 71% Of Consumers Tire Of Empty Promises, Spurring 'Age Of Cynicism'

If you enjoyed this episode of The Radcast, let us know by visiting our website www.theradcast.com or leave us a review on Apple Podcast. Be sure to keep up with all that’s radical from @ryanalford @radical_results @the.rad.cast


It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?

 Ryan Alford[00:00:09] Hey, guys, what's up? Welcome to the latest edition of the Radcast. It's our weekly advertising and news segment on Friday, May 20th. It is Memorial Weekend and we're ready. I'm ready for boating. I'm ready for hot dogs, hamburgers, and sun. And I'm also ready for my partner in crime, Josh Hill. What's up, brother? 

Josh Hill[00:00:34]What's up?  I am also looking forward to hot dogs. I might get some today.

Ryan Alford[00:00:38]Hey, I'm a promoter, man. I'm promoting it. I'm ready. I'm ready for some sun, fun, and lots of non-business work or anything otherwise. 

Josh Hill[00:00:48]That's right. 

Ryan Alford[00:00:52]We're making it up as we go here, Josh. That's what we do. And I’m glad to have Josh back in the saddle. He's our digital marketing manager here at Radical. I know it's been busy. Lots of new clients and lots of new work. Josh manages all of our digital media and he is the mad rad ad scientist, yeah, 

Josh Hill[00:01:14]It’s good to take a break, to take a little step out of the laboratory. 

Ryan Alford[00:01:18]Yes, we're going to get Josh a lab coat. The rad lab test tubes. But it's been a good week.  We have lots of new stuff going on. Any highlights for you as we head into Memorial Weekend? 

Josh Hill[00:01:35]Oh, man.  We have plenty of new content rolling out.  I have been having some good fun with some dynamic content. I am loving the new tools coming out. It's been fun having a nice adjustment to the ever-changing… 

Ryan Alford[00:01:54]The platforms or the mediums change like crazy and we do a lot of e-commerce. So yeah, to translate dynamic, i.e. as someone's product interests change or things they look at, we are serving them the content that's relevant to what they've already looked at. Am I calling that correct? 

Josh Hill[00:02:14]That's right. We're working with the robots and hanging out with the algorithms. 

Ryan Alford[00:02:23]Exactly. Speaking of the robots, I'm pretty excited. I'm going to tease a little bit. We've got cookieless data coming. It’s going to be harder to target people. But in the ever-advancing radical nature that we have, we're working with a data partner to be able to leverage some data sets to get after in-market audiences and be pretty advanced. We are going to have a dashboard for everything. We may call it Rad-Intent. We're going to merchandise the hell out of it. We'll make up a name, but we can get after people that are going to be relevant. But, to date, a lot of that relevance has typically been behavioral or they visit your website, which is good and is the first and the biggest hand-raising you can have. But sometimes the people raise their hand and you don't know if they have visited your website yet. A lot of those signals come from searches and otherwise. So we're going to be able to get in-market audiences for any category. So  I am pretty stoked about that. We've got a demo next week. Josh, I'm putting it on your calendar right after this meeting. 

Josh Hill[00:03:36]I'm excited about that. 

Ryan Alford[00:03:37]Yes. So demo time next week after we come back from Sun Fun and Buns. OK, it's a rhyming Friday here. 

Josh Hill[00:03:46]Yeah, and the catch-phrases don't stop. 

Ryan Alford[00:03:50]They do not stop here at Radical.  It’s been a good week. A lot of new stuff. I have expansion with existing clients and it just seems to be a flood of activity. I feel like the world is antsy to move. Like, you just kind of feel it a little bit, don't you? 

Josh Hill[00:04:14]Oh, yeah. It's exciting, 

Ryan Alford [00:04:16]The pandemic is slowly going away and hopefully, it will be gone forever here in the states and other countries that are dealing with a little bit more. But we've been blessed to exorcise the demon that has been the pandemic. So it's exciting. And hey, congratulations to Phil Mickelson, the fifty-year-old Golfer. As a forty-something, he should be pretty excited by this. On Sunday he became the oldest ever to make a major championship. So I was glued to my seat on Sunday afternoon watching Phil carry through. Are you into golf, did that hit your radar at all? 

Josh Hill[00:04:54]It tickles my radar here and there. I've got a lot of friends who are really into golf, so I can't get away from it. 

Ryan Alford[00:05:02]There you go. It's even better than this, you know, I know you're a meme guy who doesn't like some good memes. Brooks Koepka and Bryce DeChambeau, are two of the younger stars. Brooks is pushing thirty and DeChambeau is not yet twenty-three, but they're both in their twenties or almost thirty. They are in a bit of a feud, they don't like one another, and I  like that they don't like what it is. I  like a little zest. I mean, they're always too nice, like golf claps. Everybody's nice, but these guys don't like each other and there was a clip of Brooks after the PGA Championship doing an interview, and it was an unaired clip where he did a big eye roll because Bryson walked by him or behind him in the middle of his thing and threw a few curse words. So memes abound. If you follow me on social media, you can look at my story. I'm posting one every other day, it's freaking hilarious. These guys don't like each other. They're there and they're coming out with what you don't see in sports these days, especially in golf. The guys may not like each other, but you won't know it in public. They are going at it on Twitter like Bryson posted yesterday -  "It's wonderful that Brooks is living rent-free. I'm living rent-free in Brooks's mind". They don't normally say this shit. They don't like each other and they'll be like, ‘there's a rumor that Tiger and Phil don't get along” and they are going at each other on social media.

Josh Hill[00:06:36]It's so fun to watch. I love to see it, it adds to the passion. That's what I love to see.

Ryan Alford[00:06:40]Exactly. So it's been fun watching that and now we'll get right to the news. So our first topic for today: I don't know what you think about this Josh, but it's right down your highway for sure. So data companies; and I just teased it up a little bit, talking about first-party data and cookies going away to track you around the Internet when you visit a site. But there are data companies now that are trying to get by this. So obviously they are being direct and honest by saying, we would like to get your data. Can we have your data?  And so they're rewarding first-party data with iPods and trips. And there are even sites where if you do all your surfing on certain sites, you get rewards added up because, hey, we're tracking your every move. You know it and we'd like to reward you for it. So what are your thoughts about this? 

Josh Hill[00:07:39]I mean, most of these places are making tons of money off of that already and doing it without paying you. So might as well give you a little snack here and there, a little prize. And if you're willing to give up your data like that, and most people are willing to give it up for free, you might as well get a little something for it.

Ryan Alford[00:07:58]This is true and for some reason, I thought of hookers and I got an old joke. 

Josh Hill[00:08:07] An old joke that you are giving it up for free, you might as well make some money.

Ryan Alford[00:08:12] We are going to all kinds of hey because we're going into a holiday weekend and it's the Radcast. So we're talking about hookers and everything else, giving it up for free or getting paid for it? So consumers, rather than giving it up for free, let's say, giving up the milk for free. Anyway, I digress. It's interesting, though, a lot of the big companies, the big three, supposedly are very favorable of this. After all, I think, because they're concerned about yet another player in the market with data. And so, I think it's more a competition thing than maybe true concern for the consumer. After all, as you said, consumers have been giving it up for free and the average consumer does not know it. So at least there's an acknowledgment that it's happening and you're at least giving them something back in response to it. 

Josh Hill[00:09:07]And I've heard of people giving discounts already.  And product sellers will give discounts based on, for instance, the app honey. And they'll give you a discount based on helping you find it. I think this is right in that same train of thought. I love any time I'm looking for something and I'll put some searches in on Instagram or like Google and stuff and I'll just comment; "send me some ads. Let's see what you got out there”. (CLAPPING)  I would love to get some incentives there. 

Ryan Alford[00:09:45]Yes, yes. Yes, we do like that. I need to see more of how they're using it, as long as we're being transparent about all those things. And the biggest thing for me with all this is relevance. Do we want to get back to the space where, I used the pantyhose thing all the time, so I'll change it. Let's pretend that I hate avocados and I'm getting served avocado ads, do we want to get back to that space where all these ads you get served, and you're going to get served ads because so many platforms are uninteresting and unrelated content? Netflix and a few other platforms are still ad-free. Social media is still free, so there's going to be ad-supported content. 

Josh Hill[00:10:40]I know you're not going to pay four ninety-nine a month for Instagram. And, if you keep getting stuff that doesn't mean anything to you, you're going to get annoyed. 

Ryan Alford[00:10:51]Exactly. I get the slippery slope of how this data gets used on all sides of it. But it's core for how ad content is served up. I'm hoping there's going to be a discussion on all these other platforms and ways with which we're going to get around this. And I hope someone smart figures it out so that we can keep the ad content relevant. We're going to keep it relevant because we're going to go write it in in-market shoppers. But, unless you're calling Radical, you're going to get ads, you’re going to be serving ads to people who are uninterested in whatever you're selling. So we'll see where this goes. But I like that the rewards at least are being upfront about what's happening. Our second one is in yet another evolution of e-commerce and social shopping. It never ends, folks.  There are so many opportunities, but so little time. Instagram introduced their in-shopping button at the bottom, if you're in the app, surely you've noticed that there's a little shopping button that allows you to see places and things and companies that you follow and what they're selling in a shopping way or things that you're selling if you want to manage it. There is a new tab within after you hit the shopping button, called Drops. This is the newest, greatest, trendiest products, viral products if we can call them that, potentially viral at the end of the runway. I guess they've already been made viral or they get viral because you click on them within drops. 

Josh Hill[00:12:22]A new feature called Drops just dropped. 

Ryan Alford[00:12:24]Yes, Instagram your drops are dropping.

 Josh Hill[00:12:27]Instagram dropped the Drops. 

Ryan Alford[00:12:28]Your thoughts on this one, Josh? 

Josh Hill[00:12:31]I think it's cool. It goes after those people who are wanting to be the early adopters and who want to be the trendsetters. And I think Instagram knows that Instagram is the platform for that. Most of the people there are famous and they are the ones who like to be the first to have everything. And so why not create a space that says, hey, maybe you can be the first to own this product, it just came out, you can buy it and share it with your friends. 

Ryan Alford[00:13:00]I went on there when I saw this launched and I started hitting it and I'm like, they must think I'm a lot cooler than I am because this is, I'm talking the trendiest of trendy things. Some out there clothes, some necklace that I would have worn, never. 

Josh Hill[00:13:17]Right now it's like these are probably the highest risk section because since it's brand new stuff, you're not going to have any reviews. There's not going to be any kind of proven concept that people are going to wear it. And yeah, it's like that early investing, and maybe a product that might tank. But hey, you're the first to have it. 

Ryan Alford[00:13:41]Yeah, I do think it'll be interesting to see if it leads to sales. I'm sure that it will, but I don't know how exactly. Back to cookies and everything else, like the refinement of what's relevant to you that's gone viral or interesting, or is it just going to be universal? I don't know. I'd like to think that it gets more relevant to whatever your shopping behaviors are. 

Josh Hill[00:14:08]Yeah, I'm sure it will. I'm sure they've got plenty of different categories they're scanning. 

Ryan Alford[00:14:12]But the biggest thing here, people, if you're listening, social shopping, it was one of Josh and I's actual trends for this year, the increase in social shopping. You're going to see it. It's happening. All of these things are built and baked around the notion that people are shopping more and more through their social channels. Instagram's finally made it easier for you to shop within their platform.  They still have a ways to go, if you ask me, but it's gotten a lot better because of adding products and otherwise. And this is just another feather in the cap of where social shopping is going. Our third topic for today. So I like this too, it is kind of down that Koepka, Dechambeau. I like a little robbery in my brands. Verizon, AT&T. Coke, and Pepsi are battling it out for burger supremacy. So Pepsi is fighting back. Coke's always has held the big three. McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's always serve Coke, and Pepsi has done a little survey that says 60 percent of people; I'm always a little skeptical of brands that do their surveys. But according to the survey, barely over 60 percent of people would prefer a Pepsi with their burger over a Coke. You're going to see this campaign. You're listening to this before Memorial weekend of twenty, twenty-one. You're probably going to see this blasted everywhere. If you're watching any media or digital media, you're going to see their campaign showing that they go better with Coke in a very competitive way. Your thoughts Josh? 

Josh Hill[00:15:44]Yeah, I think it's beautiful. I love the ads they were really funny.  And it's bold and it's cool. It’s like the Titans battling because they have major brands' images and stuff. You can recognize that it's a McDonald's bag or recognize it as the mascot. It's windy, but it doesn't show the full thing. And it's cool that they're using that power of the brand's recognition to their advantage. 

Ryan Alford[00:16:20]I don't like Pepsi. I'm pretty honest when you're on the Radcast about the brands I like and don't like. I hated some of Coke's drones and gimmicky stuff with Coke coffee and coke energy, both of which have gone to the Misfits drinks section of your local gas station. But with that said, I'm a Coke guy. Coke Zero is my kryptonite. I'd say it's my kryptonite and that it weakens me to my knees. I always want one, even though it's not the greatest thing for me. But with that said, I love the competition. I love the Challenger brand going after the top and look, what do you have to lose?  Go at it! 

Josh Hill[00:17:07]That's a great effort. I love the sea. I love the approach, but I'm kind of in the same boat. It's if it's going to be afloat, it's going to be a Coke float. It's going to be a rum and coke. It's going to be. 

Ryan Alford[00:17:16]I like it for the taste. Some people will say, hey, I don't know the difference, but I like Coke as a brand. I go in there and I'm looking on the wall to see what's on the coke if it's a Coke or Pepsi place and I'm disappointed because it's like the suit of all the drinks, my kids like Dr. Pepper. And it just seems like whatever comes with the Pepsi drinks isn’t as good as what comes with coke. 

Josh Hill[00:17:50]Yeah. Coke and Sprite are great. 

Ryan Alford[00:17:52]Yes. I love some Sprite versus, what is it Sierra Mist? 

Josh Hill[00:17:58]Come on give me a sprite all day. 

Ryan Alford[00:18:01]You know, who wants a damn Sierra Mist, it just sounds bad. 

Josh Hill[00:18:04]Sierra Mist. 

Ryan Alford[00:18:05]. There's no mist on Sierra, it’s dry and desert. Anyway, I digress. But I do like the campaign and you'll see it everywhere. I respect the brand. I respect the approach. I just prefer coke. That's the Coke Zero. Our last topic of today. This is interesting but not surprising. A study was done and this comes by way of Marketing Dive, we'll tag you on the post if you're listening to this. Marketing Dive posted it and we will give them credit. We saw this on one of their articles and we will post it on the live feed in the podcast with a link to it. But seventy-one percent of consumers are tired of empty promises from brands during an age of advertising cynicism. Yes, this was the no-shit article of the day. 

Josh Hill[00:19:02]Yeah, and they should be. 

Ryan Alford[00:19:05]And finally they come around and realize that's just not … 

Josh Hill[00:19:12] A shockingly low number just seventy-one percent. 

Ryan Alford[00:19:14]Yes, that's what we heard. I thought that they thought that they believed all of them.( Read my lips. No) 

Josh Hill[00:19:27]Yeah.

Ryan Alford[00:19:28]No, OK, they don't. But in all seriousness, I would love to know what this number was like 10 years ago. That would give me more of a point of reference. I'm sure we're in an age of cynicism, but was it only thirty-one percent thought brands were full of shit ten years ago? Or was it sixty-eight point four? Yeah, that would be a more point of reference. But, you know, it's not surprising and I think,  and this is my focus group of one here, I'm not sure that the purpose-driven marketing is open. I think it might be leading to even more cynicism because they're promoting it more and the average person isn't seeing that fulfilled. 

Josh Hill[00:20:19]Absolutely. 

Ryan Alford[00:20:21]You know like Tom's being the one example and I of the age-old, you know, example, and others do this and live it, and breathe it. And it's a brand. But as one-off campaigns, it comes off as just that, a campaign. 

Josh Hill[00:20:35]Exactly. Why do it at all if you have a plan to stop doing it. And there have been a lot of promises, especially over the last year, of hiring or different practices. And I'm falling into here with the seventy-one percent because I've seen a lot of people like indie reporters go follow up with those companies and remind them of the promises they made and didn’t follow up with it. They're still making excuses and are not doing anything. It's just don't make the promise at all if you're not going to do it. 

Ryan Alford[00:21:13]I think we're living in the age of cynicism for everything, not just marketing. Everybody is cynical of everything and maybe of our politics, of our advertising, of our food. I think a little cynicism is good for you, but at the same time, there's a slippery slope, especially being in the industry, working with companies, and wanting to help them. I think it still goes back to just staying true to your brand. Be as authentically yourself as you can and if sometimes you're just selling something, you don't have to slap on something that's going to ring hollow that might hurt your brand over the long haul more than it helps. 

Josh Hill[00:22:01]Absolutely. Staying true to your brand, sticking to that brand guideline, that mission statement, the vision statement, those are there for a reason. The more you're true to yourself and we're a company that sells something, that's respectful. That's is what it is. 

Ryan Alford[00:22:21]Make it useful. And like my good friend Christopher Lochead, who we had on the podcast this week, I'm going to do a quick pause if you haven't listened to this week's guest episode on Tuesday. Christopher Lochhead's original Category Pirate talks about creating a category focused more on category creation and innovation rather than hollow, meaningless branding. And I'm not even saying branding as a whole, but he thinks there's over spin and overthought about some of these things that we're talking about versus innovation in product development and category development. 

Josh Hill[00:22:58]Absolutely. I think that's my Desert Island episode. If I'm stranded with one episode of Radcast, it's that one. 

Ryan Alford[00:23:07]Yeah, I think it might be. I've had episodes where I feel I just laughed the whole time and it's been fun, but it's getting as hard as choosing your babies, which ones do. And sometimes I have guests on and it's like, OK, that was a good episode. We had a lot of fun and I think that would be fun to listen to. And then there are episodes with Christopher and I'm like, damn, I drop the mic like eight times on how many insights. 

Josh Hill[00:23:36]We need a box of mikes. 

Ryan Alford[00:23:38] Our editing team that puts the highlights together, he messaged me and he's like; “hey man, we normally do six to eight highlight clips, but I could probably do thirty from this episode”.  I'm Like, “yes, you could and yes you will”. He's like; “damn I just made a lot of work for myself”. Well no Christopher made a lot of work for you because he's smart as shit and he dropped a lot of knowledge if you're in business, if you're in marketing, no matter what it is. But it does play into this notion that all this bullshit branding, it's the wrong kind of branding. I'm a brand advocate, brand evangelist, even. But the wrong kind of hollow branding is doing you no favors. I think that's it for this week, Josh, any final words, anything that you saw this week that we didn't, a Tik Tok, Majesty? 

Josh Hill[00:24:35]I mean, there's too much on Tik Tok. I say just go get out there. If you haven't gotten on Tik Tok yet, you're way behind. Go hang out. It's so much fun. 

Ryan Alford[00:24:45]It is fun. We had new interns start and they're doing a great job. We were about three weeks in and they're killing the Radship, on an internship, it's a Radship. We appreciate them. And I appreciate you. Hey, guys, we appreciate everyone listening. You know where to learn more, @theradcast.com, all the content, all the highlights, all of yours truly talking about marketing, and everything in between. You can find us @the.rad.cast on Instagram and I'm always @RyanAlford anywhere, everywhere on the Internet, on Instagram, Tik Tok. See you and have a great weekend. If it's your weekend, no matter wherever, however, whenever you are. We love you. See you next time on The Radcast.