23 March 2011

The Real Thing vs. The Virtual Thing

Remember this from December 2009?

Pepsi to Skip Super Bowl Ads in Favor of $20M Social Media Campaign
For the first time in 23 years, Pepsi will not have any ads in the Super Bowl. Instead, the company will be spending $20 million on a social media campaign it’s calling The Pepsi Refresh Project.

Social Media.  Hmmm.  I’ve heard of that.  Here’s a very cogent explanation of what it is:

Where people already aren’t.

Cogent Explanation

The scary part is that this isn’t just some fellow passing himself off as a Social Media Guru.

Pepsi followed the social media pack – into 3rd Place oblivion:

Pepsi Thirsty for a Comeback
imagePepsiCo Inc. is attempting to put a big new charge into its U.S. soda business after losing more ground last year to Coca-Cola Co. in their decades-old cola wars.

The food and drinks giant plans to spend 30% more to pitch its beverages on U.S. television in 2011 than in recent years—with much of the money aimed at propping up the sagging Pepsi-Cola brand after Diet Coke overtook it last year for the first time to become the No. 2 soda in the U.S. behind regular Coke.

The Ad Contrarian is all over this one:

Social Media’s Massive Failure
In reaction to this disaster, Massimo d'Amore, chief executive of PepsiCo Beverages Americas had this to say...

"When my ancestors went from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, they blew up the place, so that's what we are doing."
He also said...

"We need television to make the big, bold statement…

The Pepsi Follies
The most unsettling part of this episode is that Pepsi has been fawned over as "forward thinking" among the brand babblers and social media hustlers who have seized control of the marketing world.

Brand babblers and social media hustlers.  I think I’ve met a few of those:

5 Reasons Why 90% Of Social Media Efforts Fail

And a chapter from my book (2005):


Over the last few years, marketing has become a subset of social media…

I’m thinking it might be time to get back to the real thing