It's no secret that Coca-Cola is used to being number one. So what do they do when a competitor refuses to let go of the vast majority of market share in a major category? They recently rolled out their ploy to get people to at least try Vault - the little-known competitor of the newly re-dubbed "Mtn Dew." Coke will be giving out "Vault Taste Challenge" coupons for a free Vault with the purchase of a Mtn Dew.
There are things I like about this concept. It's recession-friendly. Or maybe it's just plain friendly - I mean, who doesn't like free stuff, even in a good economy? It's certain to generate positive feelings towards Vault and it shows that Vault is, without a doubt, confident in the quality of their product. It might even increase Vault's market share (it can't get much worse than it's current 4%).
Now for the things I don't like. Mtn Dew has always targeted teenagers and young adults (aka the current Millennial generation), which leads me to assume Vault is targeting the same demo. How many coupon-clippers do you know in my age range? My personal habit is to carry around what coupons I do manage to collect in my wallet until they've expired or the ink has faded away entirely. I also recently discussed this campaign with someone who then went to try a Vault, only to realize that his company's vending machines only sell Pepsi products. So he bought Mtn Dew. Vault might manage to get their product on people's minds, but always in association with Mtn Dew - and Mtn Dew's distribution is better. And not to forget, they're encouraging people who otherwise might not buy Mtn Dew or Vault to buy Mtn Dew in order to get a free Vault. It's all very convuluted, but it seems to me unlikely from a P&L standpoint that Vault will come out on top in the "challenge."
That said, I do like the idea and appreciate their effort at cheer and goodwill at a time when there's not much of either to go around.