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    Pepsi will take the Refresh Project global in 2011

    Pepsi’s Refresh Project has generated tens of millions of votes and countless tweets and Facebook posts in 2010. Next year, PepsiCo will take it global.

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    It is not the first time we mention Pepsi’s Refresh Project. Quite recently we brought it up in relation to the four Es marketing model, consisting of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity.

    In short: this year Pepsi shunned their US advertising budget for Super-Bowl (of over $20 Million) and decided to put it into social media and the Refresh Project instead. The project has generated tens of million of votes and a countless number of tweets and Facebook posts, and the Pepsi brand itself has reached more than 2.7 million fans on Facebook (a growth of more than one million within in less than two months and still counting).

    This fall, marketing director for Pepsi, Ana Maria Irazabal, expressed that “the Refresh Project is helping sales by linking charity in customers’ minds with their feelings about the brand”, and she also expressed that Pepsi will expand the Refresh Project globally in 2011 (The Huffington Post).

    The Refresh Project embraces the four Es marketing model and represents a shift away from traditional marketing to marketing with a higher purpose.

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    Case in point C: Pepsi, Refresh Project (4Es)

    Could a soft drink really engage people and make the world a better place? Pepsi thinks so, if you take a look at one of the brand’s latest marketing initiatives, Pepsi Refresh Project. In 2010, Pepsi shunned their advertising budget for Super-Bowl (of over $20 Million) and decided to put it into social media and the Refresh Project. But, how does this project work?

    Each month Pepsi gives a grant of 1,3 Million USD to businesses, people and non-profits having a positive impact on their community. Anyone can submit their ideas and promote people in their network, then visitors on the Pepsi Refresh site get to vote for their favourite projects. At the end of each month, finalists are selected to receive granted money in categories such as art & culture, health and education. The maximum 1000 submissions per day were entered in less than one day when the project first began. And the results, apart from an intense media coverage, is more than 1 600 000 fans on Facebook (still counting) and thousands of project submissions every month.

    With the Refresh Project, Pepsi has succeeded in creating strong customer engagement across the US, by connecting emotionally to people. Through this project, Pepsi has also linked the brand to experiences of value; all ‘refresh projects’ have a good impact on society. The result of the campaign is that people associate the company with doing ‘good’. Besides this, the campaign also shows a bit of Pepsi’s brand personality, differentiating them from competitors. In this way Pepsi possesses an exclusive position in the minds of many.

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