After a Year in Second Place, Coca-Cola Overtakes Pepsi to Once Again Become Effie’s Most Effective Brand

Meanwhile, the competing beverage company fell to eighth place

McDonald's, Vodafone, KFC and IKEA rounded out the top five, respectively. - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Diana Pearl

Following a brief hiatus, Coca-Cola is back on top.

After just one year in second place in Effie’s Most Effective Brand rankings, Coca-Cola has returned to the top spot, a title it held four times since 2011. In 2018, the brand’s biggest competitor, Pepsi, knocked it down a peg—but clearly, not for long.

This news comes with the release of the 2019 Effie Index, which annually ranks the world’s strongest and most influential marketers and marketing teams. It named Coca-Cola the most effective brand, with McDonald’s, Vodafone, KFC and IKEA rounding out the top five, respectively.

Yes, that means that not only did Pepsi lose its first-place standing—it fell from the top five entirely. This year, it came in eighth place. Also included in the top 10 of the most effective brand rankings include Burger King, Chevrolet, Nescafé, MasterCard and Movistar.

Campaigns that helped push Coca-Cola back to the top spot include Ogilvy Brasil’s Fanta campaign “A Fanta Que Ninguem Esperava,” Budapest-based Rewart’s “You thirst for summer!” campaign for Coca-Cola and the Coca-Cola FanFeat from J. Walter Thompson in Sao Paulo.

“Despite the pace and rate of change that we are experiencing as an industry, effectiveness remains at the heart of everyone’s business objectives,” Traci Alford, Effie Worldwide CEO, said in a statement.  “The marketers ranked in this year’s Effie Index have achieved great results against challenging business goals and continue to raise the global gold standard of marketing effectiveness.”

To determine the winners, Effie translates the awards it gives out into a points system before ranking entrants by points received. The top prize is a Grand Effie, then gold, silver, bronze and finally, finalists. In its annual index, Effie also ranks the most effective marketer, agency holding groups, agency networks, agency offices and independent agencies. This year, Unilever won for marketer, WPP Group for holding group, McCann Worldgroup for network, Sancho BBDO for agency office and German agency Jung von Matt for independent agency.

@dianapearl_ Diana is the deputy brands editor at Adweek and managing editor of Brandweek.