Socially conscious that is.
Did you hear the big news? Pepsi's pulled out of the SuperBowl ad adventures and will turn to social media and social responsibility instead.
In January, we'll be able to propose projects that make our worlds better places and vote on them starting in February. Pepsi will fund thousands of these projects, investing $20 million.
The article, linked above on ABC News' web site, written by a New York ad agency CEO and the chair of American Association of Advertising Agencies New York Council, is amusing. He calls the Pepsi decision a "risk," and smack in the middle of the article is a pedantic description of social media that underscores the shift marketers face, from traditional to social media, old guard to new:
"According to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research, more than 50 percent of marketers are increasing their spending in social media. Advertisers view social media as important because online they can seek out people who have an affinity for the brand and engage them in a meaningful discourse that lasts longer than 30 seconds. Many times these people pass along information to their friends. Online tools give marketers the ability to track the "pass alongs." Communication can be more frequent and the consumer can share with the advertiser information such as what other information they would like to have and what actions they would like for the marketer to consider."So yes that's interesting, but unless you've been living under a rock for the past two years and missed (1) the shift in technology and (2) the Great Recession, who couldn't have predicted the anticipated expenditure in social media.
To me, what's more interesting is Pepsi's investment in communities. I've been saying it for months now, since before I published How to Jump-start Your Sponsorship Strategies in Tough Times: nonprofits have a window of opportunity right now to get the attention of the corporations in your backyard. They need your help to restore their images, rebuild trust, connect with new customers, forge customer loyalty, develop corporate social responsibility initiatives, etc.
If you haven't jumped through that window yet to go talk to your corporate community, what are you waiting for?
Corporations, large and small, if you haven't thought about connecting with a cause in meaningful ways to build your brand, leverage sales, build thought leadership, and generate immense goodwill, give this strategy some serious consideration. Watch Pepsi during the next few months. Check out what Seventh Generation is doing. Make some plans of your own.