PepsiCo Beverages Canada has introduced a new drink product that hearkens back to a simple time when phones weren’t mobile, the words pod and pad weren’t preceded by the letter “i,” and soft drinks were made with natural sugar and not high-fructose corn syrup.
Pepsi Throwback began rolling out this week and will be available across Canada for a limited time. According to Pepsi marketing manager Neetu Godara, Throwback first launched across the U.S. with “great success” in early 2009 and has re-appeared for several limited runs since then.
In addition to retro-themed packaging that mimics the iconic Pepsi can from 1971, Throwback also features a significant nutritional difference: it is made with real sugar instead of the high-fructose corn syrup that is a staple in modern soft drinks.
“We’ve heard from Canadians who are really looking forward to this launch,” said Godara. “It will be interesting for us to see how quickly this flies off the shelf, because we’re expecting a great response.”
The Throwback product is aimed at the young and young at heart, said Godara. Generation Y consumers are drawn to “all things retro” she said, while older drinkers tend to look back fondly on the Pepsi of their youth.
“Our brand is all about bringing joy and enjoyment to our consumers, and we know this was an era of a lot of fun,” said Godara. “This is a way for us to do something new and exciting in the carbonated beverage business and excite our consumers with something we knew they’d respond positively to.”
Throwback will be supported by a decidedly modern-day marketing campaign, including point-of-sale materials featuring what Godara described as “a retro ‘70s feel,” PR outreach, and the obligatory social media component (Pepsi currently has about 225,000 followers on its Pepsi Canada and Pepsi Quebec Facebook pages).
The tag for the campaign is “Pepsi Throwback: It’s a blast from the past.” Creative for the campaign was developed by BBDO Toronto, while Praxis PR is overseeing what Godara described as a “uniquely Canadian” PR component.
In the Pepsi stronghold of Quebec, meanwhile, Thursday’s launch event for Throwback featured an appearance by comedian and actor Claude Meunier, who has been the face of Pepsi in the province since 1985.