In the 1980s, Pepsi's infamous "Pepsi Challenge" (El Reto Pepsi) campaign helped to virtually destroy the Pepsi brand in Peru, due in large part to the fact that consumers do not enjoy being told they're wrong. The campaign was quite simple actually: Tasting centers were set up in and around Lima where people could freely participate in a blind taste test between Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Attendees were presented with two covered bottles and two glasses, each bottle was opened and poured into its respective glass, whereupon the tester was asked to drink each and declare his or her favorite, but not before being asked which they preferred and drank regularly.Link (via Oblomovka)
The campaign was a disaster, as one of three results came from the testing, all detrimental to Pepsi: 1) People were angered by the fact that they were "wrong" in their choice and abandoned Pepsi, switching to either Coca-Cola or Inca Kola; 2) Those who chose Coca-Cola over Pepsi either switched to or stayed with Coca-Cola; 3) Those who were ambivalent between them cemented their ambivalence and switched to Inca Kola. Additionally, the costs of the Pepsi Challenge, which started tu run into the millions of US dollars, coupled with managerial mistakes left CEPSA virtually bankrupt.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.