Home > Week 3 > PepsiCo, Social Media and the Super Bowl

PepsiCo, Social Media and the Super Bowl

Pepsi Ditches Super Bowl Ads for Social Networking Campaign“, “Pepsi’s Big Gamble: Ditching Super Bowl for Social Media“, ” Pepsi pick social media over Super Bowl ads“. These were some of the headlines that were circulating last year about Pepsi and its new marketing strategy during the Super Bowl game.

This may surprise many because Pepsi has advertised during the past 23 Super Bowl shows delivering ads featuring Cindy Crawford, Jackie Chan, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake among others. Now Pepsi is redirecting its focus and its resources to the Internet and has chosen to give away over $20 million in a social media campaign called The Pepsi Refresh Project. This project is an interactive website that looks for people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact in their communities.

Source: http://vator.tv/images/attachments/241209122031pepsi_refresh_project.jpg

According to ABC News, in Super Bowl ads from 1999 to 2009, Pepsi spent over $142 million to encourage consumers to drink the Pepsi brand. “Pepsi’s decision to pull its advertising from the Super Bowl telecast and concentrate on its Social Media strategy to try and create a movement will be the largest and most visible showdown between broadcast media and the Internet to date.”

Jessica Ong, director of online media and search for the Internet traffic measurement company Compete Inc., said “Pepsi made the right decision to shift ad dollars away from the Super Bowl and to social media. More than 83 percent visited Pepsi sites instead of those of rival Coke”

We will see later this week how this strategy payed off for Pepsi during the Super Bowl.

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  1. February 9, 2010 at 4:12 am

    I agree that what Pepsi is doing to its marketing strategy is pretty clever! Specially considering the shifts that are currently going on between digital Vs. traditional media. The Pepsi Refresh project sounds like it has huge potential for engaging consumers on relevant topics and giving back to the community, and for sure will contribute to a positive perception of their company. As I see it, those millions of dollars they would have spent in super bowl TV ads is money better spent if put to good use towards environmental causes, social issues and education.

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