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Posts Tagged ‘Pepsi’

Are Corporate Social Responsibility Projects Worth the Money?

Yesterday’s Q&A concerned Teneshia Jackson-Warner‘s vision of a PR/marketing industry focused on “serving” rather than “selling”–or providing work that truly improves both the lives of a given brand’s customers and the communities in which they live.

It’s a tall order. Firms adopting Jackson-Warner’s model would move beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects that are–let’s be honest–almost always designed to improve public perceptions of a brand rather than the lives of people touched by that brand.

These considerations leave us very interested in the most recent study conducted by the Reputation Institute, which asks whether CSR efforts are worth the time and money required. The study’s conclusion: In most cases, they’re probably not. As the Institute’s recent Forbes guest post puts it, CSR isn’t necessarily dead–it’s just “mismanaged.”

Interesting. How so?

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Public Relations After a Tragedy

With every disaster comes opportunity. Last week Hurricane Sandy brought disaster, tragedy and heartache–along with the opportunity to help others while displaying compassion and courage. When people are in need, most feel that others should do something if capable. This applies not just to human beings and communities but also to brands and companies.

People always remember their times of struggle and grief–especially the people (or corporations) that helped them or exploited them.   From a public relations standpoint, Walmart and Pepsi have handled this particular crisis well by donating supplies that range from cleaning supplies, cereal and board games to snacks, breakfast bars and soda. Check out a full list of their donations.

Savvy public relations experts know that implementing a corporate response to disasters requires a deft touch so that efforts are seen as being helpful and sincere rather than opportunistic or exploitative. When the victims of Hurricane Sandy were suddenly and violently rendered without food, comfort or shelter, the fact that they received a Gatorade from Pepsi or disinfectant wipes from Walmart could create a strong bond with both the products and brand.

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Coke and Pepsi Get Real with Calorie Counts

As PR professionals, we know that transparency is an important attribute for any marketing campaign or brand image. Embracing reality is a wise strategy–even if it means being candid with details that the public may find ugly, undesirable or disturbing.

A lack of transparency breeds doubt, suspicion and distrust. The public won’t remain loyal to any brand that greets challenges with obfuscation or employs evasive tactics when dealing with customers. Venerable soda brands Coke and Pepsi seem to understand these points, and they are now taking a big public relations step by offering calorie counts on vending machines that stock their beverages.

In the midst of a much-publicized obesity epidemic, Americans are prone to place blame–and hopefully reverse the circumstances that got us into this peculiar situation. This means the public is taking a closer look at what they put into their bodies and taking more responsibility for their dietary habits. In order to do this the public needs information to make educated decisions, and calories counts are a sensible place to start. Read more

Roll Call: B-M, PepsiCo, H&K, and More

Lisa Poulson has been named Burson-Marsteller‘s global tech practice chair. She’ll remain in San Francisco reporting to CEO Mark Penn. Poulson rejoined the firm in 2005 after working for Sun Microsystems and had been the lead on the HP client. The four regional leads are Jackie Price, MD of the technology and media practices for Asia-Pacific; Guido Gaona, innovation and tech practice chair in Latin America; Chris Cartwright, EMEA technology practice chair; and Jim Goldman, U.S. technology practice chair.

PepsiCo is making changes to its marketing department. Jill Beraud, CMO of PepsiCo Beverages America is leaving amid the changes. Three new positions, two external and one internal, will assume her responsibilities. Brad Jakeman, previously VP and CMO at Activision Blizzard, will now be the international head marketer of Pepsi’s trademark for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and Pepsi Max. The two other execs have yet to be announced. [via Ad Age]

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Sports Stunts Mix Viral Video With Advertising

This new viral video from Pepsi (h/t to PR Daily) turned up on the Pepsi YouTube channel late last week (it’s already gotten more than 1.5 million views) with an invitation to viewers to check out the Diet Pepsi Facebook page for “more behind the scenes action” from Beckham’s advertising shoot for the soft drink. Clever way to drive traffic. And David Beckham is quoted saying that the stunt was real, so there’s the residual media coverage that also came with the clip.

The video follows in the footsteps of last year’s Gillette viral video starring tennis champ Roger Federer, who, while filming an ad for the company, smashed bottles off of the head of a crew member. Pepsi one-ups Gillette by actually having Beckham drink a Pepsi on-camera.

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Guest Post: Another Way to Look at the Multicultural Audience

A photo from LateBoots.com's coverage of after-hours spot Avenue in NYC.

The latest Census information, pop culture, and everyday observation serve as reminders about the myriad ways that the U.S. is diverse. In today’s guest post, Coltrane Curtis, founder, owner, and creative director of Team Epiphany, a New York-based firm with clients like EA Games and Timberland, suggests that there’s still another way to look at multiculturalism and diversity.

In today’s guest post, Curtis discusses how consumers are identifying themselves, and who’s influencing these groups. Feel free to continue the conversation in the comments and @PRNewser on Twitter.

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Fox Plays Both Sides of the ‘Cola War’

Pepsi has issued a release confirming that it is the official sponsor of the new Simon Cowell singing competition The X Factor, which is debuting on Fox in the U.S. this fall.

The sponsorship includes online content, a multi-platform marketing partnership, and “weekly in-show integrations and placements.” Will the feisty Brit be wrapping his hand around a conveniently placed Pepsi cup on the air rather than pretending to ignore the bright red Coke cup sitting six inches in front of him?

“That to me would be the wallpaper,” said Frank Cooper, an SVP at Pepsico when the New York Times asked about product placement. “We’re really going a layer deeper.”

Coke, Ford and AT&T are American Idol‘s sponsors. Pepsi is now the exclusive beverage sponsor of The X Factor, but the Times says the program could sign other partnership deals.

The Ticker: Google Instant; Measurement; Foursquare’s ‘Like’ Button; Univision

Pepsi Pulls Controversial iPhone App

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After a week of criticism, Pepsi has decided to pull their controversial iPhone app. The app was a game where that would feed men pick up lines and then allow them to brag about their success using them on women. According to the application’s description, it is your “roadmap to success with your favorite kinds of women” and will “change your game and raise your expectations.” The app broke women into categories such as “tree hugger” and “cougar.”

“We have decided to discontinue the AMP iPhone application…We’ve listened to a variety of audiences and determined this was the most appropriate course of action,” a Pepsi spokesperson told Adweek‘s Brian Morrissey.

The controversy around the app made it one of the most popular free iPhone apps, but apparently Pepsi had enough of the bad press. Pepsi had to have expected at least some controversy around the app – our question to you is, how much of this is all part of the marketing campaign and how much is legitimate PR damage control?

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