Friday, April 16, 2010

Oh Please! Don’t Give Me Pepsi when I ask you for Coke!

I was no older than seven when it happened but I remember it pretty clearly still. I and my family were shopping in this open-air bazaar in Sharjah and though it was night-time, the air was hot and humid like it always is. So, naturally we felt thirsty at some point in time and thought of having cold drinks. Walking along the pavement, we almost ran towards the first chiller we spotted and started exchanging coins for cans. Once my dad quenched his thirst he said something like… Pepsi is just too sweet, wish Cocacola’s chiller was somewhere near.

Thirteen years later, in Pakistan

I had to get a drink with my doughnuts and munchkins and asked the Dunkin’ Donuts man for a Fanta and he gave me a Miranda! And I was almost about to return it back to him but then I told myself not to be that … well, choosy.

But actually it was not about being choosy. It is about getting what you want and what you ask for! May be the difference isn’t perceivable in the non-disposable bottle version of these drinks we get in Pakistan commonly but Pepsi and Coke ARE poles apart and so are the other apparently similar drinks from these two companies such as Sprite and 7up.

Pakistan, is probably one of the very few places in the world where Pepsi rules in general. When people here want a ‘black’ drink they are very less likely to ask for Coke. And even they do, they are as unlikely to get it because of the push marketing/supply strategy that both Coke and Pepsi use today.

Ask a shopkeeper, a supermarket sales person or someone sitting across the counter in a renowned franchise such as KFC and he/she will tell you about how they can keep chillers of either Pepsi or Coke at a time and not both. And I think that is PLAIN dumbness. Well, I don’t mean that literally because of course I know these companies secure their sales by driving out their main competitor from the point of sale but does that lead to brand loyal customers in the end?

I think not.

It’s not true for me at least. I might be having Pepsi for about ten years now, not having a choice that is but that hasn’t really toned down my desire to have Coke each time I purchase a drink. And though I know the poor salesperson is not to be blamed but every time he gives me something other than what I had asked for, I feel like screaming in his ears, “Oh Please! Don’t Give Me Pepsi when I ask you for Coke!”

P.S. : I have enabled the option for commenting anonymously, so for those friends who go through a lot of trouble while posting a comment, you can use this :)