Wednesday, March 19, 2008

For a New Brand, Pepsi Starts the Buzz Online

For the second day in a row, the New York Times has a great article about branding via experiences. "For a New Brand, Pepsi Starts the Buzz Online" tells how Pepsi will launch a new line of no-calorie, carbonated beverages named Tava, bypassing traditional media and focusing instead on the Web, banner ads, promotions and offbeat stunts like sampling events at popular shops and the delivery of free samples to the employees of prominent companies like Google and MTV.

One quote that really stood out in this article is:
"The heart of it is creating more of an emotional connection with consumers by tapping into their natural inclination to tell other people about their experiences."

This simple but brilliant observation was made by Cassie Hughes, strategic director at Grow in San Francisco. In one sentence she manages to use three of my favorite XM terms: Emotional, Connection, and Experiences! Pepsi and its stable of agencies understand that this new brand cannot be built upon traditional media tactics of telling people over and over again about the product, but instead will be built through experiences that engage the emotional senses of the target consumer.

Another great quote comes from Christian Dietrich, Account Director at the Dallas office of Tribal DDB:
"If Tava was a person, this is what he or she would be into."

The idea of a brand as a person is a tremendously powerful concept I hope to explore on this blog in future weeks and months. Building a brand with such personality and depth that it can be related to at an almost personal level requires marketing built on conversation, not communications (or, stated another way, on experiences and not advertising.)

Check out the article over at

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