Apple.com's front page on Jan 26, 2004 Apple.com's front page on Jan 28, 2004

The students had written about apple.com and microsoft.com, and today we added screenshots. The first group happily cut, paste, saved and uploaded screenshots of webpages almost identical to the ones we saw two days ago, Apple showing iPods instead of iLife, Microsoft having added a few more stock photos of smiling white people. An hour later the second group screamed in horror when they saw that apple.com had changed, a lot: Pepsi bottles all over the screen? “Why on earth are they advertising for Pepsi?”, the students asked. Tom Henrik had heard something on the news last night about Pepsi doing deals with all the cool kids, but strategy or not, this website looks ugly. And I love my Mac and hate Pepsi. I don’t want my Mac dirtied by a connection like that!

14 thoughts on “soul sold?

  1. Ian

    In my experience, there is a general detest — no, a complete and utter hatred, an unmitigated loathing — for Pepsi in Scandinavia in general. I’m not a Pepsi fan either (Coke is much preferred), but I’ve never experienced such widespread spurn of the product as I have in Norway and Denmark. Is my impression accurate?

  2. Eirik

    You are, though i have no idea why. Coca Cola have allways been the first choice, though Pepsi is gaining, basically due to diet coke Pepsi Max. Perhaps its because Pepsi is using Britney as commercial, and Coca Cola is using Santa? πŸ™‚

  3. Tom Henrik

    I’ll guess Enrique, Pink, Britney and Beyonce according to the Right People is the definition of coolness itself. Pepsi is not cool, according to practically everyone.
    What to do? http://www.ananova.com/entertainment/story/sm_856472.html?menu=entertainment.television

    iPod+iTunes: Everybody wants one, even I want one, Bad, really Bad, NOW. But I don’t want Pepsi, not at all. I’ll rather go thirsty.
    What to do?
    http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2003/oct/16pepsi.html

  4. Elin

    Odd – I never listen to any of the above high coolnesses (I find it hard enough to look at them), but nevertheless, since I came to the US, I almost always drink Pepsi. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I had Coke. I ask for Coke everytime I am at a resturant/bar – and always get the “Is Pepsi ok?” back – Pepsi must have huge deals with the resturant world. It works too – after 3 years over here I actually like Pepsi now. And they are really good at putting little free prices in their caps, my son treasures their bottles. “Another free 12 Oz!” he’ll smile and scoot off to the store to cash his free drink. For a twelve year old on a “budget” (he earns $5 a week as a TA for his science teacher and some extra doing laundry for my roommate who is to scared to use the basement in the evening;-) – it is better to drink Pepsi and have a chance for more, right? Coca Cola seems to have lost their touch – but honestly…. does it matter? Even if one of these bubbly sodas is delicious and the other only close, both drinks are equally bad for us, we all know that!

  5. Alina

    Pepsi is cool in USA. Cola’s not. I guess apple is targeting *our fellow Americans* here..

    Agree with you, Jill: i love my Mac and i hate Pepsi πŸ˜‰

  6. Jill

    It had honestly never occurred to me that my dislike of Pepsi was a Scandinavian thing. I guess I’m just blindly following my cultural without thinking myself, huh? I don’t like Coke much either, but Pepsi just has extremely negative connotations for me, though I can’t rationalise that at all.

    Maybe Coca Cola did some kind of subliminal reverse advertising when I was a kid or something. Or, as Eirik says, Coke uses Santa and Pepsi Michael Jackson and Britney Spears…

    Cultural differences crop up in the weirdest ways, don’t they?

  7. Elin

    Well – I think it is because we grew up thinking Pepsi is fake – Pepsi is not “coke”. That is enough to bring Pepsi negative connotations. It used to be a “wannabe” coke drink in my eyes. Coke was “it” and Pepsi was going to take over. My sense is that we Norwegians don’t like anything that sounds too “threatening”. It would be fun seeing what their campaigns looked like back when we were teenagers – I can’t remember;-)

  8. Ian

    I don’t think Pepsi is “cool” in the USA. Pepsi does own several major franchise food chains, including Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell. They also have beverage provisioning deals with many others. This is one way to force-feed patrons Pepsi.

    In many parts of the US, especially in the south, The word “Coke” is eponymous for soda in general, and everywhere we ask for a “Coke” when we mean cola. Thus the refrain of “Is Pepsi ok?”, which is typically answered with a begrudging “yeah.”

    There are some people in the States who do prefer Pepsi over Coke, but I think they are few and far between. Nevertheless, no one in the US would openly scorn someone they saw drinking Pepsi, as if they were drinking their own urine. This has been my experience in Scandinavia πŸ˜‰

  9. Jill

    OK, Ian, I just NEED to hear the story of how you learnt about Pepsi’s cultural status in Scandinavia… Please?

    πŸ™‚

  10. Ghani

    Ian’s right, in my neck of the woods (The US South) Pepsi is a much-loathed drink. It’s odd how different towns and universities are “owned” by either Pepsi or Coke. At my old University in South Carolina, you couldn’t find a Coke anywhere (and a Pepsi delivery guy even admonished me one time when he saw me bringing in a 2-Liter of Coke), and it drove us all crazy. If you drive down to Atlanta, though, you can’t find a Pepsi in that town unless you go to one of the restaurants they’re connected with. Personally, I like Coke because it tastes better, and I think Pepsi has a stupid image.

    And wow, that apple page is garish with all those bottles. I used to like the Apple homepage design, but it’s in real need of an update, it’s beginning to look dated.

  11. Francois Lachance

    Jill,

    Could the visceral reaction be related to having the experience of the liquid spurt through your nose?

    Which leads me to ask about the inert smell of the Apple’s plastics… they just don’t compare to IBM’s. πŸ™‚

  12. Jarle

    I guess I am an outside when it comes to Soda, too. I have “always” prefered Pepsi to Coca Cola, and 7-Up to Sprite (always siding with Pepsi Co. against Coca Cola co) for no other reason than that I think they taste better.

    Talking about pops: What I really miss here in Norway is juices like the Sobe juices in the US, energy drinks with interesting combinations and different teas. I always go crazy with all kinds of juices and cold teas when I am in the US. Partly because I often visit places where you really need to keep drinking to deal with the heat and at the same time do a lot of walking, but also because there are so much cold drinks to choose from ant try.

  13. Ian

    Jill — I had always noticed that Scandinavians preferred Coke, even when ordering drinks in the States. But I only realized the antipathy toward Pepsi when I was with several of our mutual friends (nameless for now … πŸ™‚ at the Copenhagen airport. I was thirsty and just decided to go to a vending machine. All that was available was Pepsi, so I got that. I didn’t think too much about it.

    When I found the others again, they all immediately spurned my Pepsi, and lightly cajoled me by extension. The uniformity and immediacy of the disdain was what I noticed… even people who found their way over soon after had the same response… it was sheer revulsion.

    Of course, revulsion in a nice sort of way, I guess. But it obviously made an impression.

  14. scribblingwoman

    Panther
    I installed Panther today on my office machine. So far, so good; don’t know what I was so worried about….

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