Regal Switches to Pepsi and Sparks Social Media Backlash

By Patrick von Sychowski | January 8, 2020 8:59 am PST
Regal Switches to Pepsi

The announcement that Regal Cinemas is switching from Coke to Pepsi has not gone down well with most people on social media. The announcement came after a flirty Twitter campaign between the official @RegalMovies and @Pepsi accounts, proclaiming their mutual attraction. But it was Variety’s Brent Lang that broke the news formally with an exclusive.

As was to be expected, the Regal executive quoted was putting a positive spin on the announcement.

“This is something where the stars aligned,” said John Curry, senior VP of foodservice for Regal. “Pepsi and Regal just share a mutual passion and excitement for the moviegoing experience.”

Regal had also already been selling PepsiCo’s Frito Lay snacks at its locations. As part of the deal Pepsi will also become the ‘exclusive sponsor’ of Regal’s 4DX auditoriums and “Pepsi and Regal are also looking for opportunities to work together on augmented reality offerings, a space the chain has begun exploring.”

However, the second-to-last paragraph of the Variety piece acknowledges that Regal’s parent company Cineworld had earlier made the switch from Coca-Cola to Pepsi for all of its locations in Eastern Europe and subsequently also the United Kingdom. As such it was only a matter of time until Regal would switch as well and the local management would never have had any say in the matter.

Regal users, on the other hand, have been quick to give their say on social media, with the negative comments outweighing the positive or neutral one by a factor of two or even three to one (in our un-scientific estimate).

Some people took it very badly:

Some people vowed to take immediate action of cancelling their Regal Unlimited memberships.

Other people woved to make their own switch:

Some people’s response was more measured:

Some people were positive about the switch:

A few went all-out tribal, perhaps a foretaste of the 2020 Presidential election:

Other people played it as cool as an ice cold….erhm…Dr Pepper:

The announcement provoked a lot of gifs, emojis, memes and general humour:

And what will happen to those Coca-Cola sponsored student short films?

Some people said they would switch to Plex [illegal streaming – but we won’t name-and-shame them], while others encouraged smuggling your favourite soda into Regal:

At the time of writing President Trump had not yet weighed in on this matter, possibly being distracted by Iran and the imminent Impeachment trial. But we continue to monitor Twitter in case any hostilities are directed at either party from the White House. POTUS has not been known to hold back his opinions about sodas:

With Cineworld in the process of acquiring Cineplex, it will only be a matter of time before the switch is made from Pepsi to Coke north of the border as well. So watch out for how the famously polite Canadians react when their Cokes are taken away from their largest cinema chains. We fear it will not make Canucks happy.

Patrick von Sychowski
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