Hey! Muhtar Kent! Hey! Indra Nooyi! Over Here!
A recent issue of Ad Week had this to report on the Genesis story of M&M’s, celebrating a 75th Birthday this year, on how the beloved candy got its name: One M came from Forrest Mars, the other from William Murrie of Hershey’s to whom Mars had turned to “ensure a steady supply of chocolate.” Just pause for a moment to contemplate, to savor: Arch competitors Mars & Hershey’s working together to create a candy which could stand up to summer heat and become the calorie-laden confection of choice for GIs during World War II. What used to be called, the greater good.
I began to daydream about what amazing benefits might come from other odd pairings.
Republicans and Democrats?
How about Coke & Pepsi?
Coke brings its iconic “I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,” Santa and polar bear-iness to the table, while Pepsi infuses the moment with the brand’s urgent pop relevancy. Then, the ultimate Mash Up hit me: What if Coke’s red cans stood for Republicans and Pepsi’s cans got enough additional blueness so it could stand for Democrats. Could we have the ultimate on-going straw poll cum promotion to re-ignite the smoldering cola category and regain consumer relevance?
Sure. At least until November. Every week, the ‘votes’ would be tallied, results announced and shoppers engaged at retail, vending and on-premise in ways they haven’t been in a decade. It’s the kind of presidential campaign season that would benefit from some, I don’t know, what’s the word I’m looking for, joy?
Beyond building the flagging sparkling beverage business, who knows? Maybe the plan might even turn this campaign season into something a trifle more effervescent, just a bit more sparkling? I know it seems odd to think these exemplar American brands could work together to bring some delight to the moment, but hey! It’s worth a try.
Those of you who know a bottler or someone who works at either company, feel free to print this out and place it in the Suggestion Box. I know it’s there somewhere.