Crystal Pepsi: Marketing the Clear Choice to Customers!

When you introduce a new product, you have to train on it, right? Of course you do! That’s what Pepsi did in 1992, when they introduced…Crystal Pepsi!

Previously on Allison’s Written Words…

The “Clear Craze” swept the consumer market in the late 1980s and 1990s, with appliances, soaps, soda, and even beer that you can see right through. I covered the drink side of the trend, and it got some response.

Turns out, nothing is as good as it seemed in the early 1990s. Darn rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, failing the nostalgia-excited masses!

When Crystal Pepsi made a comeback recently, I was enticed all over again, mostly because I remembered it being caffeine free (caffeine wasn’t a problem during its original run, but in 2018, it was something I had to look for on labels).

I was excited the way I was in 1993 when I first saw commercials for it on television.

I mean, could you blame me for why? It looked like a music video!

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It featured that song, by that band (which was named after two guys in the band), they had that lead singer, then they had that other lead singer. Big hair, great music. You know who they are, right?

But who cares, it’s Pepsi, and it’s CLEAR!

via GIPHY

(Thank your lucky stars – or whoever you pray to – that you didn’t just hear your fiancee/spouse/someone in the room fake dry heaving over this product. When I was writing my original article, my fiancee pretended to dry heave during the commercial. I reminded him that in the event he does dry heave, I won’t think twice about it. You know, Boy Who Cried Wolf and all.)

Now, this was how Pepsi marketed Crystal Pepsi to consumers – a Super Bowl commercial with a Van Halen song, made to look like the music video the song (“Right Now”) came from.

But, how would Pepsi employees ultimately sell the product to the stores they supply their wares to?

Wonder no more, because the training video is on YouTube!

You knew it was coming, it was just a matter of WHEN it was coming.

Just stick around, I’ll deliver a cheesy training video.

Let’s Make One Thing CLEAR, The Time Is NOW…for Crystal Pepsi!

The marketing video for Crystal Pepsi, through Total Beverage Company, IdeaWorks Presentations, and Pepsi, is two parts. The first part explains the product (specifics and such), and the second part engages Pepsi employees in role-playing how to sell the product to their customers, who will ultimately stock it on their shelves.

It flashes all kinds of fancy stats at you, tells you what consumers are looking for in a beverage, and drives the point home with people taking bottles off of displays.

People like this guy.

Neon windbreaker, headband wearing, 90s mustache-type guys. This guy wants Crystal Pepsi in his fridge!

The marketing points are all spot on – how to sell it, what the industry looks like at the present time, and what the current trends are. But when you set that to awkward testimonial delivery, stock training video music, and images of people shopping in that very special staged kind of way, you have all the markings of the quintessential 1990s training video.

And don’t forget selling scenarios…several of them! All your important questions answered!

Now, I ask you this…do you want to watch it?

I said, DO YOU WANT TO WATCH IT?

You heard me over the Van Halen music? That’s good!

Crystal Pepsi: The Employee Training Video!

Let’s do this. Hit play, and be engaged in learning about Pepsi’s newest product…and how to sell it to clients!

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And now that you’ve seen it sold…would you have bought into it in 1993?

The Meteoric Rise…and the Equally Meteoric Fall of Crystal Pepsi

Crystal Pepsi’s Crystal Ball saw nothing but lofty sales goals being met, demand being high, and the future of Pepsi being crystal clear.

So…what happened?

As I said in my article…

So…what happened to Crystal Pepsi?  Well, for one thing, not-so-stiff competition from Coca-Cola, which marketed a rival “Clear Cola” called “Tab Clear.”  The intent was to kamikaze Crystal Pepsi’s sales by unleashing their meant-to-backfire soda.  The result ended the clear cola product lines of both major soft drink companies by 1994, without ever really getting the chance to take off.

Source: Allison’s Written Words

As for comebacks…

Unlike Tab Clear, Crystal Pepsi it has made its return a few times (once as recently as last year).  This time, though, it brought caffeine and preservatives with it, two things that were not included in the original formulation.  I saw bottles of it in Target last year and was saddened that I couldn’t try it just one more time.

Source: Allison’s Written Words

Damn you, Coca-Cola! Throwing your TaB around, making it clear!

You didn’t even have that great of a commercial to sell it!

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Did Allison Get To Try Crystal Pepsi?

The answer is yes. Right after it was introduced to the market, and sold in our local supermarket, my mom bought a 20 ounce bottle. I don’t really remember what we thought of it, or if we even liked it. It was 26 years ago, after all! I’ll just assume it tasted like caffeine free Pepsi (not that I ever knew the difference in taste), except clear.

Beyond that one 20 ounce bottle (which my brother and I split), I don’t recall drinking it ever again. I don’t even remember it disappearing from the market. A few years later, I was diagnosed with a caffeine allergy (those are real, my friends, and it has nothing to do with hyperactivity!), and I haven’t had soda with caffeine since I was thirteen.

(If you ever wanted to know what that was like, this will shed some light.)

Oh, and as for the caffeine allergy…the updated product contains caffeine. So it was a no-go. :-( But, based on what I’ve heard about the reintroduced Crystal Pepsi, I’m not missing much.

More From The World of Retro Employee Training!

Training videos are not a new nor novel territory for me. Take a look at some past forays into the training world of the 1990s…and beyond!

Let’s All Work Together (And Be A Profit Partner!) – Loss prevention training video for Montgomery Ward.

Do You Have the Mad Skills To Work At Game Crazy? – Do you have the mad skills to work at a video game store? Do white people talkin’ White Hip Hop offend you? You’ll love this early 2000s training video!

Do YOU Understand The FuncoLand GAMES Process? – The training video for another video game store, with even more over-the-top acting!

Bustin’ Those Blockbuster Video Sales With…Buster Sales! – Blockbuster uses the standup comedian as training mentor device to teach Blockbuster employee Marie how to be the best employee she can be!

You’re In For Something Fresh: Customers First…At Jewel! – Learn all about being the best employee you can possibly be…at Jewel!

Blockbuster Video Training Video #2: Driscoll and Egbert – Blockbuster’s own film critics discuss the latest movies as they pertain to Blockbuster employee training.

Be The Difference…In A Grocery Store Training Video! – Grocery store employees use the CLEAR method to convey excellent customer service. I swear, talking about the Clear Craze and linking back to a training video that uses the acronym CLEAR was not intentional!

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Allison L. Venezio

Secretary/Blogger-Writer at Allison's Written Words and Retroist
Allison is a Secretary by day, a writer/blogger by night (and during lunch breaks and in the mornings before work), a nostalgia geek (and a geek in general), worshipper of Thor (and Chris Hemsworth), and honorary Avenger (she has a pin, so it is official).She collects Funko Pops, loves anything that takes her back to childhood, and has confessed her love for Kenny Loggins.Oh, and she listens to Chicago...alot.If any of this piques your interest, she'd love for you to visit her personal blog, Allison's Written Words, where she talks about alot of the same stuff she talks about here, and more!

She can be found at allisonveneziowrites.com.You can follow her blog on Facebook (facebook.com/allisonswrittenwords), Instagram @allisonswrittenwords, and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

(Her fiancee is supportive of the whole Chris Hemsworth and Kenny Loggins love thing.)
Allison L. Venezio
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