1. Should the Pepsi brand team continue to fund Pepsi Refresh Project in 2011?
Pepsi brand team should keep this Refresh project for maintaining and strengthen Pepsi’s brand position in soda market. The Pepsi Refresh Project is a first-of-its-kind initiative, positioning as a consumer brand, and directly respond to the evolving needs of consumers and their preferred methods of communication such as facebook, twitter, blog, and etc. The program effectively changed the way brands talk to consumers, leveraging the power of digital and marketing platforms, moving away from traditional marketing methods. Rather than spending hundreds, thousands of dollars advertising ‘Pepsi’ on media, we believe that Pepsi ought to relegate that money to create more valuable contents with refresh project, which can lead to deeper engagement and strong relationship between Pepsi and customers.
The Refresh project could be evaluated by the level of engagement between the brand and consumers, social ROI and brand-equity results. By these evaluations and study, Pepsi Refresh Project program showed that consumers felt Pepsi was a brand that cares about the community. And also the program was a strong fit with their perception of Pepsi as a frontier of idea bank about social issues, and innovative brand. It did not generate the result as an ‘increasing of sales revenue’, but still it is valuable because consumers that may be able to remind about the Pepsi Refresh Project when choosing a cola ‘Pepsi’. Social network that Pepsi developed includes the largest engaged fan base of any beverage company active in US. And these fans are not only potential customers for purchasing Pepsi’s product, but also could be friendly allied customers when Pepsi shrinks.
In addition, these evaluations and study showed both how Refresh project could be enormously successful and not successful. When Pepsi launched it and pulled out of the Super Bowl advertising, which they never missed for last 23 years, customers lost their mind, because watching a Pepsi’s advertisement during the Super Bowl is part of the cultural experience of the game. It showed the power of making a big commitment to these causes. People really responded and said Pepsi is a good company by Refresh project, but at the same time, obviously, sales didn’t rise up. The people who got excited and voted and posted were often not Pepsi drinkers. It showed that the Refresh project was not related to what they really have meant for; it’s really hard to get something good to help Pepsi’s real purpose at the same time. Eventually, Pepsi’s market share has been crashed down on 3rd from the second position after pulled out of 2010 Super Bowl advertising.
Nonetheless, because of building brand equity doesn’t translate into an immediate ROI, they should keep their Refresh project in 2011, treating as a big brand investment. But in the end, this Refresh project should be formatted some different way to be linked to sales in consumers’ mind in 2011.
2. If the Pepsi team continues to fund Pepsi Refresh in 2011, what changes would you make to the program to better achieve the brand’s objectives?
Refresh project has benefited from notable customer’s interest from being the first mover of a radical approach. While innovative, Pepsi has some missed opportunities. For an instance, Pepsi missed opportunity to integrate Super Bowl TV advertising with Refresh campaign and to spur word-of-mouth chatter about its Refresh initiative. Pepsi’s biggest misstep was putting all its eggs in one basket and not benefiting from synergies of multiple media channels. From 2011, Pepsi should have relegated an appropriate amount of TV advertising budget to Pepsi Refresh for encouraging submitting ideas, voting and sharing their goals.
In addition, Pepsi needs to believe in optimism and the power of people and their ideas to make better understanding what the Pepsi brand could be. Pepsi has been at the center of great cultural shifts across many generations. From 2011, Pepsi has to continue to measure success through its brand health metrics. By doubling the number of grants, Pepsi can extend their social impact to more individuals and communities. Since Pepsi Refresh Project helped increased key brand health metrics in 2010, Pepsi needs to anticipate deeper consumer engagement and more user conversation through refresheverything.com site as well as the Pepsi challenge and power voting. Interaction with the campaign’s website may significantly increase brand attributes including favorability, intent and trust along with intent to purchase among millennials. For example, posting as ‘if you purchase Pepsi, you support the Pepsi Refresh Project’ on every Pepsi’s websites, blogs, and other digital social network windows and pages, it would make even deeper connection between Pepsi brands and consumers.
3. Should Pepsi advertise the Pepsi Refresh Project on the 2011 Super Bowl?
We conclude that Pepsi should advertise commercials on the 2011 Super bowl with brilliant ideas and creativities as they had been done for last 23 years rather than focusing on arousing public opinions by Refresh project. Pepsi’s Refresh project is still good investment for their brand as well as to arouse people’s interest, but not on sales.
First of all, the Pepsi Refresh Project did not directly contribute to sales increase of Pepsi. Pepsi’s top management was confused with the concept of brand and the sales. Although the Pepsi Refresh Project might have improved the brand image of the soda maker, however consumers lost touch with Pepsi commercials which led to the steep decrease of Pepsi sales. Brian Charneski, a representative of sixteen independent bottlers in the Pacific North west, expressed concern: “People feel good about the Pepsi Refresh Project and I think it’s neat, but it doesn’t translate to I’m going to buy a Pepsi.”
Second, the Pepsi Refresh Project failed to attract the main target customers. Their original target customer were millennials(age 17 ~ 27) who were not as familiar with Pepsi as Boomers(age 41 ~ 60) or Generation Xers(age 28~ 40), but who have the great potential to consume Pepsi for the next couples of years. However, when we analyze Pepsi Refresh Project Voters breakdown, number of votes from Boomers and Generation Xers exceed that of millennials against Pepsi’s expectation. When we also look at Grantee Breakdown, non-profits organization grantees exceed individuals, which means that the Refresh project program wasn’t directly attracting the right customers- both idea submitters and voters. This is neutral fact; however, non-profits organization grantees neither guarantee that they will spend a certain portion of Pepsi nor it will give rise to drink more Pepsi even though investing a lot of effort to advertise that Pepsi is taking care of consumers’ health.
Third, Pepsi do not underestimate the importance of traditional media programs rather than social media programs. Although Pepsi put a great amount of money to social media programs, most consumers cared more about coupons and grantees rather than Pepsi’s original purpose that the on-line consumers are encouraged to blog about Pepsi’s efforts to increase awareness of their causes. Besides, consumers who took part in the Pepsi Refresh Project on-line stayed at the Pepsi website less than four minutes on the average. However, the traditional media people think about the effective and fun method which can foster the sales of Pepsi once they make a contract with Pepsi. Besides, the influence of traditional media on consumers is still effective.
Lastly, Super Bowl’s influence on Americans and the whole world is gigantic. Super Bowl is not only a great Sports game, but also a great festival where people make happy memories with their friends, family and colleagues. The Super Bowl is a preeminent advertising arena, bringing in 100 million viewers anticipating the debut of new advertising during the game. Thirty-second advertising spots cost $2.5 to $ 3 million, and Pepsi had spent $143 million on Super Bowl advertising between 1999 and 2008. Consumers were deeply attached to Pepsi’s appearing in the Super Bowl, viewing it as part of the cultural experience of the game. People expect a fun and brilliant commercial than dull and serious ads such as the Pepsi Refresh Project on a Super Bowl. Actually Pepsi went back to their original commercial tradition, so they put three commercials Pepsi max: Love Hurts, First Date, and Torpedo Cooler.
1. 2011 Super bowl Advertisement
– Pepsi Max: Love Hurts (www.youtube.com/watch?v=deS6x0BLZrY) – Pepsi Max: First Date (www.youtube.com/watch?v=YalrseH-rB8) – Pepsi Max: Torpedo Cooler (www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ltgsp7QwKU)
2. Stock Market Price-earnings Ratio / Coca Cola & PepsiCo / 2009-current