The Cola Wars (a play on Cold War) was a campaign of mutually-targeted television advertisements and marketing campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s between soft drink manufacturers The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo.
|Type||Pepsi version||Coke version|
|Diet / Low calorie|| Diet Pepsi / Pepsi Light|
| Diet Coke|
|Low Carb||Pepsi Edge (discontinued)||Coca-Cola C2 (discontinued in USA)|
|Clear Cola||Crystal Pepsi (discontinued)||Tab Clear (discontinued)|
|Lemon Lime Soda|| Sierra Mist|
|Cherry Soda||Wild Cherry Pepsi||Cherry Coke|
|Orange Soda|| Tropicana Twister|
|Orange juice||Tropicana||Minute Maid|
|Iced Tea||Lipton Brisk||Nestea (manufactured by Nestle in the USA and by Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW), a joint venture between Nestle and Coca-Cola elsewhere)|
|Root Beer||Mug Root Beer||Barq's|
|Citrus Soda||Mountain Dew|
Mountain Dew MDX
| Mello Yello|
|Vanilla-Flavored||Pepsi Vanilla||Vanilla Coke|
|Lime-Flavored||Pepsi Lime|| Coca-Cola with Lime|
Diet Coke with Lime
|Lemon-Flavored||Pepsi Twist||Coca-Cola with Lemon (discontinued)|
In the late-1990s, Pepsi launched its most successful long-term strategy of the Cola Wars, Pepsi Stuff. Consumers were invited to "Drink Pepsi, Get Stuff" and collect Pepsi Points on billions of packages and cups. They could redeem the points for free Pepsi lifestyle merchandise. After researching and testing the program for over two years to ensure that it resonated with consumers, Pepsi launched Pepsi Stuff, which was an instant success. Tens of millions of consumers participated. Pepsi outperformed Coke during the summer of the Atlanta Olympics - held in Coke's hometown - where Coke was a lead sponsor of the Games. Due to its success, the program was expanded to include Mountain Dew, and into Pepsi's international markets worldwide. The company continued to run the program for many years, continually innovating with new features each year.
The Pepsi Stuff promotion became the subject of a lawsuit. In one of the many commercials, Pepsi showed a young man in the cockpit of a Harrier Jump Jet. Below ran the caption "Harrier Jet: 7 million Pepsi Points." There was a mechanism for buying additional Pepsi Points to complete a Pepsi Stuff order. John Leonard, of Seattle, Washington, sent in a Pepsi Stuff request with the maximum amount of points and a check for over $700,000US to make up for the extra points he needed. Pepsi did not accept the request and Leonard filed suit. The judgment was that a reasonable person viewing the commercial would realize that Pepsi was not, in fact, offering a Harrier Jet. In response to the suit, Pepsi added the words "Just Kidding" under the portion of the commercial featuring the jet as well as changing the "price" to 700 million Pepsi points (see Leonard v. Pepsico, Inc.).
In 1985, Coca-Cola and Pepsi were launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle on STS-51-F. The companies had designed special cans for use in zero G conditions. The experiment was classified a failure by the shuttle crew, primarily due to the lack of refrigeration and gravity.