Pepsi No Longer a Super Bowl Party Jerk
When asked why they watch the Super Bowl, most viewers would likely respond by saying, “the commercials”. And who can blame them? Advertisers are spending big bucks on high concept, high energy and high profile spots. The commercials are an event to themselves; certain to live on as water-cooler conversation topics for weeks after the big game.
But 2010’s ad lineup is missing one of its key starters; Pepsi. The soda giant has pulled the plug on all in lieu of a different approach, one that has more of a lasting impact than that big screen TV that crushed Justin Timberlake in one of last year’s spots. Pepsi is banking on a secret formula of online, social-media charity-something Pepsi hopes will be a refreshing change for its fans.
Pepsi is calling it the Refresh Project and is asking fans to submit their ideas for funding consideration. The beverage king is giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars to deserving applicants who wish to better their sphere of influence and beyond. The site www.refresheverything.com details an example of a past award winner who turned inner-city LA students into published writers.
The interesting side effect of this marketing strategy is that numerous articles have been written and there is a buzz about Pepsi’s decision to take all of its Super Bowl spend and invest in an online, philanthropic endeavor. Giving money away is great, but it’s not unique enough to merit an Exit Row newsletter. The big story here is that Pepsi is shifting the millions of dollars it would spend on a Super Bowl ad and putting it all in online efforts.
Pepsi has been doing Super Bowl commercials for the past twenty years, so this shift is a sign that the soda juggernaut is waking up and smelling the gigabits. With an overall $20 million dollar budget, there will likely be television spots to promote this initiative however these spots will certainly drive traffic to the www.refresheverything.com site.
Take a look at how your marketing and advertising budget is spent currently and throw out “the way we’ve always done it” mentality. In particular, investigate ways to harness the power that is the internet. Pepsi now has huge advantage here in that online media can be tagged and tracked, giving them measurable, key data to make informed choices about their products.
Make it your 2010 resolution to reinvent the way you reach your customers and let Exit Row guide you through the process.
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