Pepsi Refresh Campaign Critique

Today on the Buzz Bin I wrote a piece on Fragmented Branding that breaks down the Pepsi Refresh corporate social responsibility campaign as an example. Five points that should be noted in that piece:

1) Brand distortion creates a situation where communicators attempt to paint the abstract. In the case of fragmented branding, some pieces are issued by corporate, others are the expressions of stakeholders, positive and negative.

2) Both Richard Laermer and I dubbed the campaign an instant success on our podcast, simply because of the many conversations it has created.

3) What was notable about Pepsi Refresh project was the size of the purse, as well as the opt out of the Super Bowl. Copy cat marketing efforts are sure to arise, and less successfully so.

4) Corporate social philanthropy needs to be authentic to the core of the company. Customer-centric efforts with crowdsourcing efforts are cool, but ultimately represent a novelty, especially for niche brands that are not serving mass markets. Companies will be better served building programs around the corporate culture or strategy.

5) Contest fatigue is setting in. And criticism of cause-based contests is also on the rise. Make sure this is the right tactic as opposed to engaging your community in a different, more sustainable way.

You can read the whole post on the Buzz Bin, where I blog every Monday about social media communications.