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Corporate Kindness

Corporate Kindness

Pepsi’s current initiate: Pepsi Refresh Project, is ramping up speed. The idea is visitors post suggestions for possible projects that require funding. Covering areas such as health, culture, education and the planet, they are all admirable groups. With average donations of under $25,000, and 1 million + to go around, there will be lots of winners. You can post suggestions as well as vote for top 10 favorites. http://www.refresheverything.com/

It is another successful marketing initiative to use consumer involvement to create the content. What takes it to the next level is that they are not asking for submissions for homemade TV spots (å la the Doritos Super Bowl ads) but instead using the opportunity to spread goodwill across facets completely unrelated to selling pop. Rather than hitting you over the head with a refreshing, icy glass as a sales tool, they are relating to consumers on an ethical and ideals level. Isn’t that the reason most people stick with a brand?

Sure, it is still about selling cans of sugar water, but at least they are giving something back. While a million bucks is chump change for a global giant, it is a start. They are obviously not the first to offer funding to projects, they are taking full advantage of the current SM networks. YouTube channels, Facebook, and Twitter are all being covered.

It will be interesting to watch how this continues to steamroll and how successful it truly becomes. Is it enough to switch consumers to their products? Or are people going to gladly accept a donation check and then go by a Coke??

Super Bowl too Super Pricy for some.

Super Bowl XLIV is coming up February 7, 2010, and while it is still going to be a advertising gong show, it seems that the rising costs for TV spots has almost reached its limits. At an average cost of $2.5 – $3 million, some recession hit companies are pulling in the reins. Such notable names as FedEx, GM, and Pepsi are sitting on the sidelines this year. Pepsi has decided to move its’ spend to a social responsibility grant worth $20 million. GM has been smart enough to use the money internally rather than blow it all (especially after the handout). FedEx is withholding due to “cost-containment actions”.  With companies transferring big ticket TV spots in order to help keep operating costs down, or by introducing social programs, it will be interesting to see whether this is a start of a new trend. Or is the Ad Bowl just too alluring for companies to jump ship in the masses and bank that a Bowl ad will bring the purchasers flowing in? With roughly 99 million viewers last year, it is a tough call to make. What would you do with $3 million + play money??

But fret not, 95% of TV spots have already been purchased. With biggies like Disney, Frito Lays, Coke, and Anheuser-Busch, there will still be a lot of quality ads for the big game to be worth it. Oh yeah, and there should be good football game going on too.