three billion USD of Pepsi items was paid by the Soviet Union with 17 submarines, turning Pepsi right into a reluctant “navy energy”

Richard Nixon is a well-known businessman with many alternative achievements. Nonetheless, I guess you’ll by no means have thought that he was the pioneer to carry Pepsi carbonated delicate drink to the Soviet market. This was finished by chance!

In 1959, to advertise American tradition to the Soviet folks, President Eisenhower organized a Nationwide Exhibition of America in Moscow. Main American manufacturers equivalent to Disney and Pepsi additionally attended this exhibition. They contributed to the promotion of tradition and launched American merchandise to the Soviet Union.

In the course of the opening ceremony, Nixon and the chief of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, had an especially heated argument. The environment grew to become so tense that Pepsi’s vice chairman, Donald Kendall, determined to intervene by giving Khrushchev a Pepsi to chill off.

After having fun with this glass of water, the chief of the Soviet Union felt superb. Lastly, the drink was allowed entry into the Soviet Union. Pepsi grew to become the primary Western product to be offered within the Soviet Union.

An especially intelligent product advertising and marketing section!

In actual fact, the controversy between Nixon and Khrushchev was deliberate. That is in all probability one of many earliest and most profitable guerrilla advertising and marketing methods on the earth. This technique was fastidiously deliberate by Kendall and Nixon.

The reason being as a result of Pepsi doesn’t need its Vice President instantly concerned on this occasion. So, to create a possibility, Kendall had mentioned with Nixon the evening earlier than, learn how to get Pepsi merchandise into the fingers of the Russian chief, Khrushchev. They agreed to proceed to create an argument. Utilizing that chance, Kendall will carry Pepsi merchandise to Khrushchev.

After this occasion, the Russian press printed a variety of information with photographs with the caption: “Khrushchev desires to strengthen friendship”. This caption can be just like the slogan “Let’s strengthen friendship with Pepsi” on the time. The success of this nice advertising and marketing technique opened a brand new means for American beverage corporations to enter the Soviet market.

This occasion is really a dream come true for entrepreneurs. It marks Pepsi’s opening level to enter a brand new, bigger and extra potential market. This success additionally significantly helped Kendall’s profession, as he was later appointed CEO of Pepsi.

Pepsi: The 6th largest military power in the world - Photo 2.

After that occasion, it took one other decade to barter, however in the long run, Pepsi efficiently negotiated. With that, Pepsi gained a monopoly place within the Soviet market, permitting them to win the loyalty of shoppers within the first place. Furthermore, this success helped them get rid of their arch-rival, Coca Cola, till 1985.

Nonetheless, there’s a small downside, the ruble has no worth outdoors of the Soviet Union!

Subsequently, Pepsi and the Soviet authorities selected to commerce primarily based on the old style type of barter, exchanging drinks with one another. With a win-win settlement, Pepsi merchandise might be exchanged for Stolichnaya Vodka. This product was owned by the federal government and was produced in very massive portions by the Soviet Union. This deal allowed Pepsi to enter the alcoholic beverage market, appearing because the unique importer of Vodka Stolichnaya into the US.

13 years after Kendall and Nixon efficiently carried out this advertising and marketing marketing campaign, Pepsi’s beverage product was effectively obtained and utilized by the Soviet folks day-after-day. Pepsi established its first bottling facility in Russia in 1972, and it was rated by Kendall as: “the perfect and most trendy PepsiCo manufacturing facility on the earth”.

The trade of navy gear.

The Russian market section has been very profitable for Pepsi. Soviet folks cherished the style of the drinks that Pepsi introduced. This model is related to the West, and it has nearly develop into a standing image for many who take pleasure in it.

Within the late 1980s, the Soviet folks consumed about 1 billion merchandise supplied by Pepsi yearly.

Pepsi continued to create different pioneering merchandise within the nation. In 1988, they grew to become the primary firm to pay for tv promoting within the Soviet Union. They used Michael Jackson’s iconic commercials, turning it into an especially participating business. In consequence, Pepsi’s gross sales boomed. Greater than 20 Pepsi bottling services had been established within the Soviet Union to fulfill demand. By 1989, Pepsi had grown the market within the Soviet Union to $three billion a yr.

Pepsi: The 6th largest military power in the world - Photo 3.

Nonetheless, right now, America’s relations with the Soviet Union had been badly affected, as a result of struggle in Afghanistan. This results in a brand new downside: “Pepsi does not want or wish to proceed bartering for Russian Vodka Stolichnaya.” In consequence, Vodka gross sales plummeted, so Pepsi wished a brand new deal! This made the Soviet Union develop into deadlocked in sustaining the provision of merchandise from Pepsi. They should discover a method to cowl this $three billion for Pepsi.

To take care of this debt, the Soviets regarded for different merchandise they’d obtainable to exchange. And what they’d in abundance after the Chilly Struggle was navy gear. The Soviet Union supplied to offer 17 submarines, 1 cruiser, 1 frigate and 1 battleship, in trade for Pepsi’s $three billion.

With no different selection and never eager to lose this profitable market, Pepsi accepted the deal. This historic deal made Pepsi the sixth largest navy energy on the earth at the moment!

Kendall shared with the US Nationwide Safety Advisor that: “We’re disarming the Soviet Union sooner than your forces.”

On the time, as a result of there was no eBay or Amazon but, Pepsi checked out different methods to promote its navy stock. In the long run, they transferred all this navy gear to a Swedish firm for scrap recycling. Pepsi’s temporary offensive marketing campaign as a navy drive is over.

The monopoly is over!

Pepsi’s success rapidly fizzled out, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The take care of a government-run company has now been changed by negotiations with 15 completely different nations. . Coca-Cola took benefit of this and penetrated strongly into the Soviet area.

Confronted with this example, Pepsi needed to attempt to implement some extra advertising and marketing strategies, to maintain its market share. Probably the most distinguished of those was the launch of a large Pepsi can to the Hoa Binh area station, to movie a product commercial with Russian cosmonauts, in 1996. This initiative of theirs value some huge cash. cash as much as 7 numbers.

Exterior of the US, Russia stays Pepsi’s largest market, accounting for 8% of whole world gross sales. Nonetheless, regardless of Pepsi’s lengthy historical past, versatile negotiations, or engaging communications actions, Russians appear to want the style of Coke! Subsequently, Pepsi misplaced its monopoly place to Coca Cola.


Nixon and Kendall’s advertising and marketing marketing campaign made Pepsi the primary Western firm to enter the Soviet market. They proceed to innovate and ship different pioneering merchandise to this market. Kendall was even awarded the Order of Friendship by President Vladimir Putin in 2004. The Soviet period is certain to be an interesting a part of the advertising and marketing historical past of the carbonated beverage market.

Simply suppose, how the struggle between Pepsi and Coca Cola could be in the event that they stored their navy fleet!

Mai Lam