December 17, 2013

Pepsi Selling Its Soul

Lazy bastard that I am, a few years ago I decided that a good way to take a few weeks off from blogging around the holidays was to re-publish some of my favorite posts of the year. So for the next couple of weeks we're going to be in re-runs. Here's one from last January.

One of the great things about the marketing world is that if things get really bad, if everything is caving in around you, if your whole world is crumbling and you desperately need a laugh, you can always Google "Pepsi marketing" and have yourself a hearty chuckle.

Just spend a few minutes rooting around in their amazing alternate universe and you're sure to find a treasure trove of fun, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Here at Ad Contrarian Labs, we have been chronicling the wonderfully entertaining, yet seriously preposterous, goings-on at Pepsi for years. And every time we think it can't get any more silly, we are proven wrong.

 As we predicted years ago...
"PepsiCo's soda business is in the midst of an epic, historic collapse."
...said Business Insider a few weeks ago. They went on to report...
"In Q3 2012, volume at its American division declined 3%, driven by a 4% decline in North America. There was a 7% revenue decline to $5.5 billion. In March 2011, Pepsi was humbled as Diet Coke became the nation's No.2 favorite drink behind Coke, and Pepsi slipped to No.3. Diet Pepsi is only the 7th most-drunk soda in the U.S."
Gosh. Whodathunkit?

But don't worry. In an article that appeared recently, they seem to have a whole new vocabulary of knucklehead double-talk (Pepsi leads the league in that category) that is sure to save them. This comes from the Pepsi Global Beverage Group Foresight Director. Yes, they actually have someone called that. The more dreadful their business gets, the more ridiculously pompous their titles get.

I wonder how the Global Beverage Group Foresight Director gets along with the President-Global Enjoyment and the Global Chief Marketing Officer-Hydration. I'm starting to believe the most creative employee in the company is the HR nitwit who comes up with these breathtaking titles.

As an aside, I think I have a good strategy for bringing Pepsi's beverage business back to life. Fire all the overfed worldwide globalizers and hire an Ad Manager who'll let the agency make some decent fucking ads.

But I digress...

The Global Beverage Group Foresight Director thinks he has the solution to Pepsi's problems. He says...
"There's a growing realisation that ... innovation has to come out of the brand soul."
Apparently, in the ever more ludicrous lexicon of brand babble, brands no longer have DNA, now they have soul.

It seems that innovation has not been coming out of Pepsi's "brand soul." It's been coming out of their ass, or the janitor's closet or something. Now they are searching for the brand's soul and -- pop -- out will come the innovations. Sounds like fun.

I wonder how much a branding consultant is going to charge them to find the brand's soul? Personally, I wouldn't do it for less than 2 million.

The Global Beverage Group Foresight Director also thinks it's important
"...that people running a brand share a "sense of being" with its buyers"
As a sometime Pepsi buyer, it is very clear to me that the people running the brand and I do not share a sense of being. I'm not even sure I have a sense of being. Sometimes around 3 a.m. I have a sense of peeing, but I don't think that's what they mean.

The Foresight Director wants the people who run the brand and me to...  
"... form "one big force" sharing the same goal..."
Gosh, imagine if I shared a goal with a soda brand team. What an awesome life it would be. We'd be "one big force."

The Pepsi brand team and little ol' me. My friend, it's a carbonated dream come true.


Tony Quinn said...

Maybe they just need to rip off a Beastie Boys song! #GoldieBlox

Have a good holiday Bob.

Jon P said...

Are you by any chance angling for a consulting gig? Normally, I'd recommend against calling prospects knuckleheads, but who knows—it may just work in their alternate universe. Cheers.