Pepsi Ditches Super Bowl Ads for Social Networking Campaign
A Virtual World of Advertising Possibilities
This so-called "cause-related marketing" evidently works well, as evidenced by several case studies referenced in this article from onPhilanthropy. According to the article, Avon raised $300 million for breast cancer awareness. Obviously, Pepsi's marketing move isn't completely selfless. By using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to reach out to consumers who might support and vote for a cause, the company is going to tap into a virtual world (literally) of advertising possibilities.
On Facebook, for example, Pepsi can issue invitations to participate in a poll to its followers. When someone votes on a charity choice, a message will get posted on their Facebook page that says they voted for one of Pepsi's cause choices and voila - advertising.
According to a report by Nielsen, Facebook is a virtual treasure trove for advertisers wishing to target 18 to 49-year olds. Twitter's numbers are a little lower - but impressive nonetheless. According to a March 2009 article from Social Media Today, 19% of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have used Twitter or something like it, 20% between ages 25 and 34, and 10% between ages 35 and 44. For advertisers, this is the demographic sweet spot.
Pepsi's migration away from televised Super Bowl ads is a trend we can expect other big companies to follow. There is far more bang for the buck when advertising online then producing and paying for 30 seconds of airtime during one of the most expensive televised events of the year.
It seems like a smart move on Pepsi's part. Yet, it just won't be the same as watching Cindy guzzle down that bottle of Pepsi.