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Corporate Kindness

Pepsi’s current initiate: Pepsi Refresh Project, is ramping up speed. The idea is visitors post suggestions for possible projects that require funding. Covering areas such as health, culture, education and the planet, they are all admirable groups. With average donations of under $25,000, and 1 million + to go around, there will be lots of winners. You can post suggestions as well as vote for top 10 favorites. http://www.refresheverything.com/

It is another successful marketing initiative to use consumer involvement to create the content. What takes it to the next level is that they are not asking for submissions for homemade TV spots (å la the Doritos Super Bowl ads) but instead using the opportunity to spread goodwill across facets completely unrelated to selling pop. Rather than hitting you over the head with a refreshing, icy glass as a sales tool, they are relating to consumers on an ethical and ideals level. Isn’t that the reason most people stick with a brand?

Sure, it is still about selling cans of sugar water, but at least they are giving something back. While a million bucks is chump change for a global giant, it is a start. They are obviously not the first to offer funding to projects, they are taking full advantage of the current SM networks. YouTube channels, Facebook, and Twitter are all being covered.

It will be interesting to watch how this continues to steamroll and how successful it truly becomes. Is it enough to switch consumers to their products? Or are people going to gladly accept a donation check and then go by a Coke??

Comments: 2

  • Kim Perkins
    August 16, 2010 9:42 am

    Another – local- example of this type of initiative is the Aviva Community Fund which is gearing up to launch its second year of competitions and funding this fall. The Aviva Community Fund is funded by Aviva Canada, who are part of a multinational insurance group. http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/

    Victoria’s Burnside Gorge Community Association participated by submitting an idea for the 2009 competition & it was quite exciting to watch the idea gather momentum via a variety of community networks, including social media.

    Keep an eye out for us in 2010 – with more staff, board and community members connected through social media, we expect this year’s idea to have an even bigger presence in Victoria’s community.

    Initiatives like the Pepsi Project Refresh and the Aviva Community Fund are a refreshing change from the formal granting process usually mandated by companies’ funding departments. And they offer significantly more public visibility -for the company and the applicant- than the traditional paper application.

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