Things You Didn’t Know About Pepsi (Slideshow)

Surprising facts behind the All-American brand

Things You Didn’t Know About Pepsi

Pepsi’s sales may come in second to those of Coca-Cola, its largest competitor, but Pepsi’s notably sweeter, more citrus-y taste continues to dominate in blind taste tests.

Thanks, Brad

Created by drugstore owner Caleb Bradham, Pepsi was originally named “Brad’s Drink” before Bradham changed the name in 1898.

Up to the Challenge

In the famous “Pepsi Challenge” marketing campaign, introduced in 1975, 50 percent of participants preferred the taste of Pepsi over Coca-Cola. Soda experts say that Pepsi is sweeter, and more lemon-flavored, than its competitors’ cola.

In Good Company

Celebrity endorsers for the brand have included Joan Crawford (who married Pepsi's president, Alfred Steele, in 1955), Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Jeff Gordon, and Sofia Vergara

Looking Up

Pepsi-Cola was the first brand to advertise via skywriting, at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Breaking Barriers

Pepsico-Edward F. Boy/Wikimedia

Ici, C'est Pepsi

Pepsi far outsells Coke in French-speaking Canada, to the extent that "Pepsi" has been used as a vaguely pejorative slang term for French-Canadians themselves. (In response to the old Coca-Cola slogan "Around the World, It's Coke," the company once produced ads in Quebec saying "Ici, C'est Pepsi" — "Here, it's Pepsi.")

Now Boarding

Pepsi turned its eyes to the skies once again in 1994 with a Pepsi-branded Concorde jet.

Lost in Translation

Things haven’t always gone smoothly on the international scene. Pepsi saw a drop of sales in China after launching its 1960s “Come Alive! You’re in the Pepsi generation” campaign. Baffled marketers soon discovered the tagline translated to variations of “Bring your ancestors back from the dead with Pepsi” in both Mandarin and Cantonese.

Drink Diplomacy


Pepsi made history as the first foreign consumer product officially sold in the U.S.S.R., as the result of a deal made in 1972 (the same arrangement gave PepsiCo rights to import Stolichnaya vodka into the U.S.) Decades later, Putin granted Pepsi chairman Donald Kendall an Order of Friendship medal for his contribution to Russian-American relations.

Party Pop


Historically, Pepsi has long been considered “the Republican Refresher” as The New York Times’ Kurt Eichenwald put it. The brand has also had Republican ties via George H.W. Bush, and Richard Nixon.

Yes, We (Soda) Can

But times have changed; data analysts found that Pepsi drinkers were more likely to vote for Barack Obama in the last presidential election, according to Forbes.