Grab one with your dominant arm and remember to lift with your legs and not your back today!
Rather than bow to their demands, she said their actions were unconstitutional, adding in this interview, "I didn't really know if it was unconstitutional, but I said it anyway."
As we've learned so many times in this country, it doesn't matter if it's constitutional or not, so long as you say the word "unconstitutional" and aren't afraid of taking that shit to court. Raquel Chavez was more than happy to file a lawsuit. I know, like a Mexican shop owner is going to take down Coke in court, right? Well, they might if Pepsi joins in on the lawsuit. That happened, and in 2005, the Coca-Cola Export Corporation was ordered to pay $68 million in damages, with well over half ... going to Pepsi.
Not exactly the outcome one would've hoped for, but still, a win is a win. Also, this wasn't the first time Pepsi exploited Coca-Cola's shadiness for market-building purposes.
Pepsi Thrived Because Segregation Existed
David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Walter Mack, a Pepsi executive in the 1940s, was a progressive man who supported progressive causes. As such, when looking into ways to expand his brand's reach in the marketplace, he noticed something unfortunate. In all of Pepsi's advertising at the time, African-Americans were either completely ignored or depicted using only negative stereotypes and imagery. That's when he was struck with what turned out to be a revolutionary idea: Treating blacks like actual people.
Sensing a massive opportunity was afoot, Mack brought in an African-American man named Edward Boyd to head up a team that would create marketing geared toward portraying black people in a positive way. Like this ad, featuring a family throwing down on a six-pack at the dinner table ...
White People Magazine award winner for Most Terrifying Ad of 1947.
Of course, this was still the 1940s, so Pepsi's efforts weren't exactly applauded. Boyd's team faced constant threats and harassment from the racist masses almost every step of the way. They persevered, though, and were even able to use Coca Cola's blatant racism to boost their market share further after Boyd distributed a Time Magazine report about a Coke executive's support of Herman Talmadge, a staunch segregationist who also happened to be the governor of Georgia at the time.
The campaign was a rousing success, so much so that it's credited with launching the concept of niche marketing. Pepsi's market share increased dramatically, even overtaking Coke entirely in markets like Chicago.
Unfortunately, this otherwise positive story does come with the obligatory reminder that, at the end of the day, this is still corporate America we're talking about.
They only have one boss.
Pepsi's newfangled business tactics didn't sit well with people within the company and various affiliates who didn't want to be portrayed as exclusively marketing to blacks, for fear of pushing away white customers altogether. Walter Mack, progressive man who supported progressive causes, dissuaded those fears in front of an audience of 500 or so Pepsi bottlers at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the most sad and pandering way imaginable, saying, "We don't want it become known as a nigger drink."
Like I said, this is corporate America we're talking about. Would you expect the story to end any other way?
Adam is telling jokes in person tonight and tomorrow in Albuquerque. You can also see him on 4/7 in Kansas City and 4/8 in St. Louis. On top of all that, you can also follow him on Twitter @adamtodbrown. The possibilities are endless!
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