pepsi campaign

Pepsi Refresh Just Needs a Refresh



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Back by popular demand, more rantings about why you should be thinking long-term about your marketing strategies.

The Pepsi Refresh Project is catching a lot of criticism, mainly because nobody thinks the marketing mix actually worked. They may be right someday, but it’s not nearly the time to start making that decision yet. As I told MediaPost, "Whether it worked or not is not even that important. The most interesting thing about this program is that Pepsi is doing it.”

Marketers need to go back and read Seth Godin’s The Dip. Success is a result of perseverance, of breaking through the clutter by refusing to give up on a good idea.

Overnight success simply does not occur often enough for it to be worth any energy at all. If you get lucky and become a hit immediately, good for you, but you better not count on it. Even if you are an instant wonder, it will only be natural for you to try and broaden your perspective. You’ll start to think about how to parlay your success into something bigger. Most lottery winners are no happier a year later than they were before they won.

If Pepsi gives up now, then the campaign will have truly failed. The millions of advertising dollars down the drain is not the issue. Pepsi probably loses more to shrinkage.

The real failure would be letting down all of the people who did participate, who invested attention and emotional energy into connecting with Pepsi around causes they truly care about. Pepsi needs to continue investing into this affiliate marketing initiative and build their momentum. The long-term marketing payoff will come down the road as Pepsi’s brand continues to put its money where its mouth is. You know, by actually giving a damn about people and their communities.

Who cares whether it sells any soda this year.