Hope for a Changed Pepsi campaign
Since the start of the year Pepsi has followed the coattails of the Obama presidential campaign using the same key buzzwords that attracted the young demographic to their benefit, but the question that people are now asking is whether what Pepsi is doing is morally
and ethically proper.
As soon as the clock's small and big hand became one at 12 a.m. on New Year's Day, 2009, PepsiCo unveiled its new campaign to bring the brand to new heights.
"Refresheverything" is the new official
slogan Pepsi is using to promote their troubled brand. Along with the new slogan comes a new logo that beckons the famed Obama campaign logo of the rising sun
with a little twist. What is so bewildering in regards to the slogan is that Pepsi didn't even bother breaking up the word.
Since unconventional grammar appeals to the
less traditional crowd, the move clearly
shows its intention to appeal to the younger
demographic more so than its regular
consumers who have reportedly been, in recent years, between the ages of 25-40.
As for their strategy in garnering a strong following and thus providing them with more dough? Use the Obama brand name and success will follow. The "Refresheverything" campaign is using similar phrases and words that the Obama campaign used, like "Hope" and
"Yes You Can", to attract the young and
hip demographic, while replacing the "O"
with their new logo.
The logo, which still uses its traditional
red, white and blue color scheme, is playing off a concept that is way too played out.
The whole idea behind the Obama presidential campaign logo was to promote the concept of a "better tomorrow" that is full of "hope" and "promise" while this country springs back from all the trouble, the same way a sun rises after every dark night.
Unfortunately, Pepsi believes in using a
system that takes from the top and trickles
down to any poor sap that trusts everything
or anything he or she sees. Not only has the logo been changed to look like a retake version on the Obama logo, but their official website has been reconstructed and designed to cater the needs and wants of the young and the young at heart.
The website's features include beat rhythm-style music in the background, flashy windows and links to other parts of the site and an overall appeal to those who want "Change" in their grandmother's old brand name items.
Supporters believe that the campaign is not copying the Obama presidential campaign but actually trying to create a new perception of the brand that can appeal to anyone across the social spectrum, from the hip-hop community all the way to the elderly.
Those who oppose the new campaign believe that Pepsi is trying to build on the
success the Obama campaign had this past year by using the same strategies and marketing tactics.
The campaign was brought to fruition in light of the company's wishes to give its brand a face-lift. The problem is that while they try to show originality in their marketing, they instead prove to the public
that the only way of getting more attention
and a higher value is to use a played-out
scheme that people are sick of seeing.
The ads can been seen all around the country in subway stations, on billboards, on the side of high risers, skyscrapers and any other public area in the continental U.S.
Another problem with the ad campaign is that most people can't tell if the ad they see is a carry-over of ads from the Obama presidential campaigns that took place a
few months prior or a new campaign from
an existing Fortune 500 company trying
to recreate itself.
"A couple months ago I was driving down Pico and all I could think was 'Man, didn't Obama win already, why are his billboard ads still up?' and then I looked a little closer to the ad and saw that it really was Pepsi who pulled this stunt off," said Rashad Sandeem, a transfer student at Santa Monica College. "Even though they were copying the Obama campaigns and the logo should have never been changed, I still liked their willingness to build off a successful product like Obama because they know if something works then don't fix it- just keep at it until it stops working."
Aside from not understanding what they're really looking at, consumers question the ethical and moral standards that PepsiCo upholds. "I don't think they should copy what
Obama did, but instead be creative and
come up with a better idea to make more
money in this struggling economy," said
political analyst Sigmund Jacoby. "I mean,
what does 'Hope' have anything to do with
With the new campaign afoot, Pepsi hopes to finally push past their main competitor in the soda market: The Coca-Cola Company, which explains why Pepsi has not mentioned in their campaign that they are the official drink of the Obama administration.
As a matter of fact, according to Time.com, the Obama campaign committee and current administration's unofficial preference of choice when it comes to a refreshing soft drink is Diet Coke, which happens to be a product of The Coca-Cola Company.
So is Pepsi misleading their consumers?
Said Jacoby: "I think they are absolutely giving their consumers the notion that the Obama administration has and always will prefer to drink Pepsi as supposed to drinking another soft drink like, say for example, Coke. It's just not right."
So far, Obama has not come out to
say that he does not support the brand,
but as seen in photos of him at the Oval
Office and around other parts of the
White House a Coke or sister products,
like Honest Tea, which President Obama
seems to be most fond of, is never too
far away from the President when he
With their new strategy at hand, time will tell if their cleverness to copy will pay-off.