Last week’s curious intersection of the first presidential debate and the Mountain Dew case (RC-MKT) got me thinking. More specifically, is there a similarity between the obscene amount of Kerry/Bush ad spending and the Pepsi/Coke market share catfight? Through the debates, both candidates are attempting to differentiate themselves despite the near-indecipherability of many of their stances.
Kerry/Bush and Pepsi/Coke are effectively oligarchies peddling a mature, commoditized product through promotions towards a shrinking sliver of market share. Recognizing weaknesses of the fat cats, new entrants emerged with niche offerings and gained traction. Libertarians, radical environmentalists, the Green Party, and religious fundamentalists render the Kerry/Bush battle less relevant, much like the emergence of niche beverage brands in the soft drink wars. Republicans, though, annexed power through a different segment, much like Coke’s foray into bottled water and energy drinks in an attempt to augment share. Conservative social issues of late are a futile attempt to abscond religious undecideds, but at the expense of the overall party’s core base. Will Bush’s alienating stance on marriage, abortion, and faith-based initiatives leave moderate GOP’ers by the wayside like the fates of Crystal Pepsi and Tab? We’ll soon see if Red Bull (aka, Bush)