cross posted to Marketing Roadmaps
The Super Bowl is pretty much the only athletic contest in the world where the television advertisements during the event get nearly as much media coverage as the event itself. Likewise the run-up and hype of the commercials. Will the network will sell all the space? Who will run ads, how much will they pay and what will they promote?
Before the ads even run, the pundits are postulating and after, they dissect them.
It’s a bit obscene really — and full disclosure, I’ve played the game on my blog in past years.
This year, though, the real news is who is NOT advertising during the Super Bowl. Instead of spending a hefty chunk of change on a few spots during the football game, Pepsi launched the Pepsi Refresh Project. For the next year, the company is giving away $1.3 million dollars per month to community development projects submitted and selected online by the public.
Anyone can submit a grant. Pepsi will accept 1000 every month, and the public can vote for up to 10 projects every day.
Of course, the company is getting a lot of media, and social media, coverage for the campaign, and I imagine they are also spending a pretty penny on the infrastructure to support the project with their ad, PR and interactive agencies. I’m sure they have high expectations for positive revenue as well as brand awareness results from the project.
What makes this campaign so exciting is the scale of the grants. Other companies have done similar projects to fund charities through community submission and vote. For example American Express. But I can’t think of anything from corporate America that matches the scale of Pepsi Refresh.
It is truly refreshing to see a company do so much potential good. I’ve got no problem if they “do good” as a result.
In fact, I’d love to see more copycats.