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  • http://www.childrensdayton.org Bethany Deines

    Interesting. It seems that blending community service is the trendiest way for companies to market themselves. Lands End had a brilliant email campaign over the holidays to give coats to the needy all the while earning a discount for a new Lands End jacket.

    Cause marketing seems to be an effective method to gain corporate visibility and appear to be doing something good for the community. Is anyone else concerned that this model reinforces quid pro quo giving? “I’ll only donate something if I get something in return,” seems to be missing the point of real charity.

    What if Pepsi had used that $142 million they previously spent on advertising and simply made grants available for nonprofit organizations? Would those nonprofits not make it known that they received such support from Pepsi? Would it not provide enough marketing benefit to the company?

    I am challenged by the notion that companies use cause marketing to appear that they are being charitable when in reality, they are simply using a strategy to sell more of their product. And in Pepsi’s case, this new plan looks like a cheaper option than what they had. It may engage more people — and if that is the intent, so be it. There certainly can be positive gains from this but in reality, this is not an altruistic strategy designed to really support communities. It is what is is: a new marketing plan.

    Now, the flip side of why I am challenged by this: as a development officer always looking to find new ways to receive support, I hope we can somehow benefit from cause marketing plans, because whatever motivation a company has, the dollars generated will be of benefit to the charities. I just hope they can continue that support once this advertising campaign runs its course.

    • http://www.eastridgeprint.com Renee Malove

      I think “quid pro quo” marketing, as you say, has always been the norm for companies. Sure, they donate, but giving a percentage of sales has a much more mutually beneficial value proposition…and in truth, it allows companies to offer far more support than they might otherwise because they’re able to continue generating revenue. There’s only so much they can give away flat-out, but planning to donate a percentage of sales to charity can exceed that amount based on consumer participation.

  • http://apurvanarang.blogspot.com/ @apurvanarang

    it makes perfect business sense for pepsi to do this… n down the line we’ll see more co.’s following suit..
    as more n more people adapt to the new media i.e. social media more co.’s are going to follow them there.. n it doesn’t hurt as it is much cheaper to interact directly with your target audience via social media.. than advt. on the “idiot box”

  • http://ipenforcement.wordpress.com Nils Montan

    I like it. The rules are clear. Things have to change. The old methods of doing things will not and should not work anymore. Even if Pepsi is doing this for less than completely generous motives, the writing is on the wall.

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  • http://www.hightouchweb.com Kim Kolb

    Maybe Pepsi is an industry leader. The thought of them removing that much cash on Super Bowl ads and placing it where most people are is a really smart move. Kudos to them

  • http://rogerewingblog.com Roger Ewing

    Pepsi is taking a refreshing approach to marketing. They are engaging their customers and that is the essence of social media marketing. This piece offers valuable insight into the corporate marketing revolution that is occurring on the web.

  • http://www.mediaadverts.net mediaadverts

    Very nice and informative post will help me a lot in the nearest future. Thank you.

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  • Frank Peters

    It’s refreshing indeed, but not new. Pepsi did the same last year.

  • http://www.eastridgeprint.com Renee Malove

    Pepsi is definitely setting a trend, and one we’re going to continue to see as DVR and online television continue to become the norm. The bottom line is, people are tuning out conventional advertising in favor of the more interactive advertising opportunities presented by the web. It won’t be long before advertising on television really becomes a waste of money for these corporate giants. And the fact that they’re redirecting those funds for the greater good just shows that all technology is not, in fact, evil.

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  • http://twitter.com/Digitaltonto Greg Satell

    Any ideas why Pepsi’s market share plummeted?

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