Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Will The Future Be Quite So Bubbly?

The past year has been dominated by concerns about the impact on obesity of Carbonated Soft Drinks. Whether it has resulted in renewed calls for social engineering through a soda tax, or availability bans (most recent of these has been Boston's Municipal Buildings), the press coverage has been negative.

One bright spot has been the impact of the Pepsi Refresh Everything project. The project is visibly and creatively changing the discussion about Pepsi in a positive direction.

 Refresh Everything started as a social media experiment and has become the marketer's dream combining relevance, interactivity and a positive message that reflects well on the brand.  In contrast the big movie and sports tie-ins found on other CSD brands this summer feel empty and self-centered.

Over the length of the recession the big CSD businesses have delivered big profits despite the carnage around them as consumers have returned to their value offerings. The big question that has highly paid executives up late is whether these trends will continue to drink them as the economy improves?

My observation is that the old way of marketing CSDs is becoming irrelevant as their level of commoditization increases.

Finding a way to drive relevance - like Refresh Everything - will be essential to giving the category a chance as consumers seek more healthy and functional alternatives.

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