Randy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

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Interactive Infographic: Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi


The Coke VS. Pepsi: The Cola Wars infographic from cnntees.com. Which side are you on?

For over a century Coke and Pepsi have been at each other’s throats in a constant struggle for a bigger piece of the billion-dollar soda market. 

Along the way the companies have picked up a slew of loyalists and fans, adamant that their cola reigns supreme. While there are countless spots online to check out the history of either company we decided to put together an interactive infographic, putting all cola war highlights together in one spot.

This is a really fascinating experiment with infographic design.  Although it appears to be a static infographic, it’s actually interactive.  If you look closely, there are two videos built directly into the middle of the infographic that play when clicked.  The growth chart at the top is also interactive.  Click on a decade, and then choose the specific year, and it displays events in each companies history related to that time period.

The interactivity is so subtle though, most people will probably miss it without me spelling it out in the title and here in the commentary.

The financial stats section is a really poor use of pie charts in the bottle caps.  The logo images work, but pie charts are for visualizing percentages.  Here, they forced the data into the cute visual, but it makes the data confusing and hard to understand.    Are the charts visualizing the percentages of each expense related to total revenue, or just arbitrarily visualizing the values to represent the comparison between the two companies?  No percentages are shown, and no values are shown for the values of the total pie.  This is forcing a round peg into a square hole.

At the bottom, it’s missing a URL to the original blog post (so readers that find this on the Internet can find the original high-resolution infographic), a copyright statement, a trademark statement and a credit to the designer.

Thanks to Ron for sending in the link!

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Reader Comments (4)

For me, this is way too long to follow along. I wrote about the Cola Wars back in December 2010 and I think you'll find my viz way easier to use, understand, and get insights from.


Also, it's great to see Coke has now snatched Dunkin Donuts from Pepsi. A huge win for Coke and an even bigger loss for struggling Pepsi.
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Kriebel
Wow, I liked the interactive ads but completely missed the interactive stock chart. Now that I 'see' it I don't understand why it was included. The zoomed in decade charts just show the same info as the above chart but zoomed in. The yearly events have way too much detail when buried inside of an already too long infographic.

I agree on the bottlecaps as pie shapes - that's terrible and sloppy use of the comparative data.
April 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChicagojon
Isn't Rockstar owned by PepsiCo and not by Coke?
At least in Germany it's distributed by PepsiCo!
And since there is Relentless as the Coke energy drink, I see no need to have two competing brands.
April 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrik
Rockstar is its own company. It used to be distributed by Coke, but switched to Pepsi distribution in the summer of 2009. Basically, Rockstart pays Pepsi to ride along on its trucks and be merchandised by Pepsi.
April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Kriebel
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