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If you have Pepsi; Problem solved – “Global Ad Campaign” Blunder

By Aiman Raza

Big companies make mistakes every day. In marketing world we call it marketing blunder. Latest example of this century marketing blunder is Pepsi new advertisement. “Global ad campaign” features Kendall Jenner.

Jenner modeling in a blonde wig and dark lipstick, but then Jenner sees a protest!

Jenner whips off that blonde Wig and joined the marchers when she sees a wall of police officers standing in front of the protest. She says not to worry. Jenner knows what to do. She hands a cop a Pepsi, and guess what? He drinks it. PROBLEM SOLVED. The protesters go wild. Jumping and cheering all around. A Muslim woman in a hijab snaps a picture to capture the moment the movement worked. Let’s all buy Pepsi.

Within 24 hours after the release of the ad on Wednesday 04th April, 2017. Pepsi take it back because of facing backlash on the social media. Their ad did not go well with the people. Not even with marketing gurus.

Pepsi eventually realized and issued an official statement:

“Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position” 

The ad disappeared from Pepsi official YouTube channel

Well Pepsi really bring the people together but on point of disagree with Pepsi. The idea they showing if you have Pepsi you can solve any problem. Even though you are right unless your arguments, efforts are useless without can of Pepsi soda. Really?  Twitter and Facebook goes wild no one is welcoming the Pepsi ad.

Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr also posted a photo on twitter of her father with the tag, “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” The video was released on 4 April, the 49th anniversary of King’s assassination.

So what went wrong with Pepsi? The ad made by Pepsi in-house agency where people only live, drink, eat and sleep Pepsi. If they think they thinks Pepsi, if anything is best that is Pepsi. Pepsi in-house agency get lost in the “love yourself “ term so much that they cannot see others sentiments. But for balance approach you need to get others views too. Pepsi should conduct a market research before executing the ad. They should show the ad to neutral person not only to their bosses.  Sometimes “love yourself” will leave you alone, feel the love of others too.

It’s not about brands it’s about customers. Being a big brand did not give you the leverage to do whatever you want to do. You always have to think about people emotions too. Pepsi take the advantage of protests in America and trying to sale their brand. Pepsi “global ad campaign” was the replica of  marches in America whether it women march, Black Lives Matter protests, and demonstrations outside Trump Tower can goes well just with Pepsi soda.

Pepsi positing the market very well before in 1970 with “Pepsi Generation” by featuring big youth icons Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Robbie Williams. And gives sleepless nights to its buddy rival Coca Cola. But this time Pepsi good night converted to nightmare.

Fern Miller, chief strategy officer at DigitasLBi, Pepsi failed because it didn’t reach out to protest groups.

“Corporations like PepsiCo need to over-index in how much they worry about the outside world perceiving them yet somehow there’s still a sense of tunnel vision,” she explains.

“If you get involved with the protest movement in your ad then you need to really engage with these people on the front line and try to understand the nuances of what they are doing. If you don’t, well, then you can see what the results will look like.”

According to Brand Finance in 2016 Pepsi brand value decreases from 4% to $18.3bn . While things might get worse for Pepsi after this Pepsi new “global ad campaign”.

The writer is a Marketing Consultant & Research Analyst. 

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