February 2011 Archives

How Pepsi's crowd-sourced ads beat the Super Bowl beer spots, Fortune Magazine


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Apparently, a video of a pug knocking down a glass door on top of some guy is a good way to sell junk food. But Pepsi didn't spend millions doing market research to come up with the concept, called "Pug Attack." Instead, the company leveraged its most valuable marketing device: you.

The pug ad was part of the "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, which Doritos has been doing for five years. This year, the contest was fueled by a new collaboration between Pepsi's (PEP) Pepsi Max soft drink and corporate cousin Frito-Lay chip brand Doritos. The contest is one of several efforts by Pepsi not just to engage its consumers in social media, but to start deeply-involved, closely-watched dialogues with Pepsi-drinkers.

Besides "Crash the Super Bowl" Pepsi is re-launching its online charity campaign called "Pepsi Refresh" for the second time in 2011. In 2009 Pepsi launched a "DEWmocracy" campaign around its Mountain Dew brand that asked consumers to vote on new flavors for the drink that were released in 2010.

The Pepsi marketing team has had to relinquish a certain amount of control to buyers to host these kinds of projects. But the potential payoff is huge. Mostly because those conversations don't happen in a void--Pepsi is always watching, and often, Pepsi marketing teams respond in real time to tweets, comments and Facebook messages.

It's a high volume process. Every day, Pepsi's Refresh site receives 20,000 comments, according to Shiv Singh, Head of Digital for PepsiCo in North America. "We are starting to get a pulse on what America cares about on such a huge scale. It's all online, so we can analyze it and see these conversations in real time. It's mind-blowing."

Read the rest of this piece on Fortune Magazine's website.

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