Why Pepsi doesn’t mess with Quebec

Pepsi now boasts one of its largest relative shares, if not its largest worldwide, in the Quebec market. Beyond the merits of the drink itself, the manufacturer's relationship with Quebecers has been founded on some good marketing and a nearly 20-year-old partnership with author, humourist and generally notable francophone celebrity Claude Meunier. While shares in Ontario and British Columbia compare to U.S. percentages, those in Quebec are much higher. That makes it the perfect venue to spin out all the company's new sub-brands, right?

Pepsi now boasts one of its largest relative shares, if not its largest worldwide, in the Quebec market. Beyond the merits of the drink itself, the manufacturer’s relationship with Quebecers has been founded on some good marketing and a nearly 20-year-old partnership with author, humourist and generally notable francophone celebrity Claude Meunier. While shares in Ontario and British Columbia compare to U.S. percentages, those in Quebec are much higher. That makes it the perfect venue to spin out all the company’s new sub-brands, right?

Nope.

Says BBDO SVP and group account director Stephanie Nerlich, ‘In fact, sometimes we don’t launch them into Quebec at all. It all depends on what the opportunities are. For example, for years we didn’t support Mountain Dew in Quebec in the same way that it was supported in the rest of the country. If, in research, the Quebec consumer told us that they were open to those brands, then we certainly launched them there.

‘Sometimes you can use innovation in a market where you don’t have a stronger presence because it is a way to generate news.’