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Pepsi's New '1893' Soda Further Blurs Booze, Soda Marketing
By: AdAge
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The line between soda and booze marketing is getting about as blurry as a Sunday morning hangover. Witness the debut ad for Pepsi's new 1893 premium soda brand, which uses a sommelier character who peddles the beverage like a fine whiskey or wine.

The ad is meant to be humorous. But it underscores a serious marketing strategy by PepsiCo, which is trying tap into the mixology trend. The cola is made from kola nut extract, "real sugar" and sparkling water, with a touch of "aromatic bitters." A ginger cola version includes "real ginger." If it sounds like something that would go well with whiskey, that is kind of the point.

Soda and booze have long been mixed, of course, but brands have not always talked about it openly, or used alcohol imagery in ads.

"We were inspired by the mixology craze," said Chad Stubbs, VP of marketing for the Pepsi trademark. "We absolutely see this as a perfect standalone beverage or a perfect complement to cocktails."

The launch, which was officially announced last week, comes as beer marketers borrow from the soda playbook with a range of new pop-like flavored hard sodas.

Examples include MillerCoors' Henry's Hard Soda brand, which comes in ginger ale and orange flavors made with cane sugar and have 4.2% alcohol by volume. Anheuser-Busch InBev keeps adding flavors to its new Best Damn Brewing Co. hard soda brand, including a recently launched cherry cola flavor. Brewers are even starting to capitalize on the sparkling water craze. Boston Beer Co. -- which makes Sam Adams -- this week launched a brand called Truly Spiked & Sparkling that it touts as "the lowest-calorie and lowest-carb spiked sparkling water available." Flavors include Colima Lime and Grapefruit and Pomelo.

All of the offerings aim to quench the growing thirst for variety by today's consumers, especially millennials.

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This was originally published on AdAge. A link to the original story follows this post. www.adage.com
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