Sunday, July 15, 2012

Consequences

(c) PepsiCo
And now I'd like to put on my PR professor hat for a moment and and rant make an observation. Pepsi's new global campaign is entitled, "Live for Now." I just heard my first radio ad about it, and I'll admit it was catchy.

According to PepsiCo's press release, the slogan is about connecting Pepsi drinkers to music, entertainment, and pop culture events, and will open the door to various partnerships (the first one, launched in May, was with singer Nicki Minaj). Furthermore, "Live for Now" apparently, "embodies a mind-set that is true of Pepsi loyalists around the world, while still connecting with a large and growing number of consumers who share the same values."


I think that "value" must be living a life without consequences.


Living "for now" means not considering consequences, or not caring about what might happen in the future. For a company that produces a sugar-loaded nutrient-free drink, this might be one of the more brilliant moves in recent advertising. Inundated with pervasive press from health experts that people should not consume their products, a threat from the NY Mayor Bloomberg to ban large servings of their product, scientific links of consumption of items like their products to increased obesity and diabetes - especially in youth, it is quite savvy to try to make consumers think less about consequences of consumption. 

If I am living "for now, " I don't care that I'm drinking massive amounts of sugar with no nutritional value. If I live "for now, " I'm not worried about weight gain, sickness, or even the expense of drinking sodas. I don't need to worry about the packaging the drink came in, or even bother to recycle it. I am young! I am fun! I live for the now, for the latest pop culture phenom, the hottest concert, the coolest You Tube clip. I can't be bothered with consequences -- I just want what tastes good NOW.


Brilliant move, Pepsi. If you can't change your product, change your consumer. And you're probably right that the consumer will happily buy into this messaging (who doesn't want to live in the now?). But , for the sake of our future, our health, our environment -- I sincerely hope you aren't too persuasive.


P.S. I prefer Coke anyway.

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