July 18, 2011

Pepsi: There's Madness To The Madness

Here at Ad Contrarian World Headquarters we've had a great deal of fun over the years poking fun at Pepsi. I'm happy to say that it looks like we will have many more years of hilarity ahead of us.

Just to "refresh" your memory, Pepsi had a pretty bad year last year. They started 2010 with a great deal of hoo-haa about "exploring how a brand can be integrated into the digital space" and lots of other insufferable digi-babble.

They cancelled their longstanding commitment to the Super Bowl -- and TV advertising in general -- and instead poured tens of zillions of dollars into the largest social media campaign ever, called the "Pepsi Refresh Project." It turned out to be a pig's breakfast.

While Pepsi was busy collecting Facebook friends and Twitter followers, their competitors were busy collecting money and market share.

As a result of this (and a whole lot of other marketing fumbles) Pepsi recently did a major overhaul of its marketing department.

Now, Pepsi's new "beverage guru" has unveiled his plan to fix their marketing problems. Apparently all these fiascos had nothing to do with stupid strategy or dumb-ass ideas. The problem was with management structures. You see, if they had "global management" instead of "global coordination" none of this would have happened. His plan seems to be to get Pepsi back on track by harnessing the  power of corporate double talk...
"[Before] it was more of a global coordination as opposed to a global management," Mr. d'Amore said. "Technology, both social networks and mobile platforms, have created this global generation. We really want to connect our global brands with the global generation, and the best way to do that is with global management."
Wow! Can you get any more global than that? I think we're talking total worldwide globularity here! He went on to say...
"There is real logic to this perceived madness" 
Well, one man's logic is another man's bullshit burrito.

According to Ad Age...
The new global teams will be charged with innovation and identifying local trends that could have ramifications globally, as well as shepherding global campaigns.
I've always wanted to shepherd a global campaign. Much less smelly than shepherding sheep.

Apparently, Pepsi's globularity is already in the works. Once again from Ad Age...
Already, a creative brief has been circulated to key offices for both BBDO, which handles Pepsi in international markets, and TBWA/Chiat/Day, which handles the brand in the U.S. ... A "steering committee" with representatives from both shops is evaluating creative concepts...
Oh yeah, shepherds and steering committees. That should do the trick.

So, anyway, when brands lose their minds and go off the rails, their next move is usually to snap back to their roots. With that in mind, here's the kind of campaign I expect Pepsi to force the shepherds and steerers to come up with:

Concept: Happy, youthful people of every color from all over the global world are drinking Pepsi while the most expensive pop stars of every color in the global world are singing about Pepsi. This will all be tied into a mobile Facebook/Twitter/YouTube friend and download fest and will culminate in a worldwide pop concert streamed live all over the global, mobile world. The campaign theme will be "Planet Pepsi" or something else of equal globularity.

Whatever it is, let's just hope it's really big and dumb so the rest of us can continue to stay "refreshed."

No comments: