Needless to say, this is a pretty big marketing shift for one of the world's biggest brands. And it will be interesting to see if other big brands follow suit. Connie Bensen says this move is a sign of three trends converging:
- Social media marketing becoming mainstream
- Community-building taking priority over the 30-second ad
- Brands leveraging multiple channels rather than just television
First, there's the execution. Starting on Wednesday, you can submit your ideas for a project that you want Pepsi to fund. We can then vote on our favorites, and the winners will be selected based on number of votes. You can learn more about the selection process here. It sounds like the process will be similar to how Dell utilizes IdeaStorm to crowdsource ideas.
So the thinking is that people that submit ideas and have them approved for voting, will then utilize social sites and channels to promote their idea, and by extension, the Refresh Project, and Pepsi itself. That will likely happen. So the buzz-building element is there, the question becomes, will the buzz be sustainable and beneficial to Pepsi, or more for the project itself?
I think the best chance for this buzz to grow into sustainable passion for the Pepsi brand will come at the local level, in the communities where these projects will be completed. As a result, I think it would be a very wise move for Pepsi to reach out to its evangelists to help with the selection of the projects, and ultimately, their execution.
Think about it, what better way to promote your brand in a positive light than to invest money in projects that benefit communities AND have your most passionate fans be the people that work to complete these projects? THAT would make this project a huge home run for Pepsi, and it will be interesting to see if Pepsi plans on bring their evangelists into the mix to help them with this campaign.
What do you think of The Pepsi Refresh Project? If you had a $20M budget, would you spend it on this project, or buy about 6 Super Bowl ads?