Cross-Platform Marketing: Pepsi Refresh
Pepsi Refresh sought to bring its brand behavior to life. Ana Maria Irazabal, Pepsi's marketing director, describes the brand's essence to be "optimism as a catalyst for good ideas." "Our brand platform is that every Pepsi refreshes the world; we are the choice of the next generation and want to let consumers help us decide how Pepsi refreshes the world."
As Pepsi set out to create a new campaign, "we went to our agency partners - about 25 of them -- for their ideas about how to make the effort local(ized)," Irazabal explained. She mapped out the campaign objectives to: deepen consumer engagement, generate community and have the ideas translate for customers in-store, in-community and online. All components had to be accessible to consumers without online access.
The target consumer segments for this campaign are Millennials and female Baby Boomers. The creative team found that strong common values enabled the promotional elements to integrate easily. They see Boomers as adults who came of age as warriors who fought for something, and Millennials as their children who were taught that they too could change the world. Hence, Pepsi decided to communicate its Pepsi Refresh Project (PRP) through both traditional and social media partnerships with content split between the groups.
To support those who generate innovative, optimistic ideas, PRP will award more than $20 million in 2010 to "move communities forward." Pepsi will fund projects that make a difference in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods, and Education. The fund comes straight out of the advertising budget, not the company's foundation. Individuals can apply for grants to benefit a variety of projects, and site visitors can vote for the ideas they believe should receive funding. So far, more than 20 million votes have earned grants for 128 winners in a variety of communities around the country. To see PRP in action, visit www.refresheverything.com.
"Public Relations has been such a pivotal point to the campaign with human stories," said Irazabal. "The key to the program's success is to have local people tell their stories of how with their grant they are changing the world."
The campaign has a higher impact on brand equity by using several media types. You see your message in different places and it has to be communicated in a way that is relevant to each type of media.
She said that while print played a smaller role, this campaign lent itself to a print program with Parade, the most widely read magazine in America reaching over 33 million people. In the first of several activities, Parade will conduct a custom national poll aligned with the PRP categories on "What America Cares About" with a cover feature on the poll's results. Additionally, Parade will feature a monthly "What Celebrities Care About" column with a custom PRP ad adjacent to engage PRP celebrities and the public in celebration of PRP's impact.
Pepsi also reached out to influencers they identified as writing on social media sites about other major marketing events to figure out how to successfully engage them. This social media component saw a ripple effect of influencer communications about PRP, as did the efforts of grant nominees to encourage their followers and friends to vote for their ideas.
The multi-agency team held weekly editorial meetings to agree on the PR and social media messages to use the following week. They found that they had to respond to comments from people trying to better understand the project, as well as to acknowledge when the company, product or campaign made a mistake. "You have to be authentic, honest and transparent," stated Irazabal. She wants it to be "a movement that sustains for a long time...not just a moment."
Pepsi aims to inspire and engage Millennials to submit PRP ideas, vote for their favorite ones and follow the Project's progress. Pepsi has employed a variety of television media buys like its collaboration with MTV Network to reach their core Millennial consumer through short, custom content segments that highlight the PRP. Through an "Ideas that Pop" platform, MTVN will showcase good, fun ideas that will make the world a better place. Utilizing talent like SuChin Pak, the MTVN team will embark on a journey across America in a PRP bus to capture the inspirational stories of the PRP grant winners and their visions for making their communities better.
According to CBS Connections' Fred Sawabini, "the starting point for all campaigns is the client's objectives. Then you have to create a campaign strategy that can be executed on media that is most relevant to your target audience." He clarified that when trading equity between promotional brands and CBS-owned television programming, it is important to have a clear direction and insight for an effective cross-platform idea.
Sawabini mentioned NBC-Turbo Tax as a great example of an integrated campaign. He also featured Comcast's Triple Play campaign presented by CBS. He indicated that the client's objective was to create a teaser campaign to introduce its Triple Play package of TV, phone and Internet. The resulting "Slanguage" campaign used words to express the combined services with a media campaign that integrated outdoor billboards with radio. "Is your husband secretly snurfing?" a billboard might scream! Meanwhile, as one drove past these outdoor ads and listened to sports radio, on-air talent used paid promotion to pepper these zany words into particular programs.
Jane Clarke of The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement cited Bank of America's "Money on Main Street" as a successful integrated marketing campaign. "They established a presence with some positive things they were doing during a difficult time," she said. The campaign theme was about "helping people make it through financially challenging times." Clarke observed that Bank of America had stories about how their customers made it thru financial challenges in many financial consumer publications, complimented by hands-on problem solving tools for customers, such as their online financial planning tools and payment workbooks that they distributed through their bank branches.