Recently, Pepsi launched an aggressive (I mean that in a good way), targeted campaign in support of the launch of their new logo design. You can find out about that at The Pepsi Cooler. As part of the campaign they sent materials and information to 25 influential marketing bloggers (thanks to Don Grothoff and Darryl Parker for the continuing detective work).
There’s been a lot of chatter in the online marketing community about the cans, and the campaign. Pepsi certainly did a good job targeting influencers – Chris Brogan, Greg Verdino, PSFK, C.C. Chapman and Rohit Bhargava all received goodies. From there, people like Rob Walker picked up the story. So, mission accomplished from this aspect: Many of the most important, most influential, thinkers from the marketing world are talking about Pepsi and their new brand identity. And now I’m talking about it, so it has really trickled down to the bottom of the marketing food chain.
But I wonder, did Pepsi target consumer advocates in addition to targeting marketing influentials? I don’t know the answer to this, they very well may have, or may be planning to do so in a second wave. But I think it’s important to look at the distinction between the two groups.
Influential marketers will talk about the brand and debate the merits of the new logo. Some will like it, others will be critical. But I wonder what the objective of this tactic is? Let’s say all 25 marketing bloggers love the new branding. What does that translate to? Better sales? Awareness of the new logo? Not sure. I’d imagine that most of these bloggers will move on pretty quickly and not linger on this topic for too long.
Now compare that with what might have happened had (or when) Pepsi targets brands advocates, and surely there are plenty of bloggers out there – sports bloggers, political bloggers, pet blogggers – who love Pepsi. What if they had been given a sneak peek at the new logo, or been made part of the process. They’d be talking about Pepsi for months, and as self-described fans of Pepsi it would more than likely be very positive.
The people at Pepsi are pretty smart, so I’ll keep my eye on this, I imagine they have more tricks up their sleeve as the roll out continues.
Full disclosure: My agency, Taylor, has been involved with the Coke Zero brand. I have not been involved with those accounts.