Up until now, Pepsi’s international advertising conjured up images of celebrities, humour and story lines which involved protagonists going to great lengths to get a Pepsi. It was all about the drink. Nothing inherently wrong with that – it was instrumental in Pepsi being where it is. TBWA, who replaced BBDO recently as the agency, has devised a campaign which is more about people’s sentiments & mood rather than about selling a cola. AdAge reports that the new campaign is about to break in the US with a 30-sec commercial.
My first reaction: I like. I saw the spot first and it was such a refreshing change from the typical cola ads. ‘Change’ as a platform did a lot of good for you-know-who at the recent US Elections. But is it just feel-good advertising hype? Is it the exact opposite of how US consumers feel today? Job cuts or fear of job cuts is very real. I am not sure when the Optimism Project’s research was done – maybe the effects of recession had not sunk in yet. The research says that the Millennial group ‘is more confident and excited about the future than any other generation’. So will they see it as just another clever advertising message or will it ring true? Time will tell.
The timing is right though. Obama’s call for change is still fresh in the US citizen’s minds. New Year is all about making plans to change. And sometimes when everyone is giving you the bad news, just that one stimulus about the silver lining is enough to make you feel positive. I am reminded of a recent editorial at Campaign India, which outlined all the good things that happened around in the recent past. Suddenly, my response was ‘hey things aren’t so bad after all’. I think the ‘optimism’ platform could work at that level. But can a cola drink engineer that optimism? Do comment.