Pepsi: We’re just opportunists!

posted at 3:40 pm on January 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this week, Pepsi joined in on the mass Obama worship in order to sell more of its pop.  What would you say to the man who’s about to Refresh Our Nation?  How about, “Have a Coke and a smile”?  Naah, they probably wouldn’t pass that message along, any more than they would have generated this website for John McCain if he had won.  After all, no one recalls Pepsi launching a “Morning in America” ad campaign to go along with Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.

However, Pepsi insists that they have no political agenda, and only hitched a ride with Obama to cash in on the hero worship while they can.  A Hot Air reader forwards the reply he received from Pepsi after complaining about their pandering:

Dear Eddie,

In marketing our products, we always aim to convey a message of youthful spirit and optimism. As you can imagine, we try to make full use of events and venues from which we can reach the largest number of potential consumers with our message. For instance, Pepsi was widely visible at the New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York’s Times Square, and we currently are gearing up for our much-anticipated television advertising during the Super Bowl.

The inauguration of a president is another such event that engages a large number of people, both attending in Washington, D.C. as well as watching from living rooms around the world.

Our advertising initiatives coinciding with the inauguration reflect the hope shared by Americans of all political persuasions that our new president will succeed in meeting the serious challenges facing our country and our world. I can assure you that our marketing focus is set on reaching consumers to highlight our portfolio of beverages and snacks, and not the agenda of any political party.

Thanks for allowing us to share this information with you.

Uh-huh.  So if their explanation holds water, Pepsi should be able to point to its previous ad campaigns tied to the inauguration of Republican presidents.  So, let’s see them.  I’m sure that Pepsi has all of those campaigns stored in their vaults.

No?

Of course not.  Their explanation is, to be polite, rather weak.  We don’t have elections to determine whether we celebrate New Years or hold a Super Bowl.  The Pepsi ad campaign contributes to an already-unfortunate impulse in our media to create a cult of personality around a national leader unlike anything we have seen in American history.  Putting politicians on a pedestal for worship has never — never — worked to the benefit of the nations that indulged themselves in that kind of secular worship.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Can anyone else help the list grow? Generic is looking better all the time.

MikeA on January 21, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Pepsi Owns Yum Brands.

This includes stellar gourmet eateries such as:

Taco Bell
KFC

It’ll be hard to stay away but…I’ll find a way.

The End of the Republic is Nigh.

Dorvillian on January 21, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Seriously, I hate boycotts. They almost always turn out incredibly hypocritical.

Ortzinator on January 21, 2009 at 6:47 PM

+1

Agreed…Either hypocritical, or this will be gone from our memories in a few weeks.

PS: Pepsi I can live without anyway…I’m a Coke guy. But there’s no way I could ever, ever give up the PepsiCo company know as Kentucky Fried Chicken. Ain’t gonna happen!

JetBoy on January 21, 2009 at 7:19 PM

I don’t expect any of us would be able to totally avoid all the product links to Pepsi for an extended time, but we can send a message. One website I read said PepsiCo owns five $1 Billion companies. That’s $5 Billion. If we could only impact them by reducing sales by 1% for one year, that is $50 Million. Off the top that has got to hurt.

By the way, KFC is no longer owned by PepsiCo, but was moved to a spin off corporation YUM. That is now a different company but has a lifetime contract to seel Pepsi products. So go ahead to KFC and order coffee.

Dr. Pepper is not so easy. Still tied to PepsiCo in most cases.

MikeA on January 21, 2009 at 8:23 PM

It is now official. Raven is a genius.

When Pepsi started their repackaging of all their products I instantly found a distinct similarity between the Pepsi logo and Obama’s logo..sign..whatever it was. I pointed it out to my family. And this was all occurring before the election.

It is nice to be vindicated once and a while.

RuffledRaven on January 21, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Hey, wait a minute, that’s my letter. I got one of those e-mails also. I very politely sent it back with a ‘stuff it’ note attached. Also informed tham that I belong to an organization (Team Sarah) with 65,000+ members and growing, and that I was sending their “reply” to everyone in that group to read. I actually am enjoying a Coke as I type this. We still have some power left, small as it is.

clinker46 on January 21, 2009 at 8:42 PM

Why doesn’t the antiabortion folks use this as their symbol?

DJ from MA on January 21, 2009 at 8:55 PM

But folks, while we are taking out a little electoral/anti-messiah frustration on Pepsi, we need to share our wrath with all they brands. You can see what brands not to buy here.

MikeA on January 21, 2009 at 6:23 PM

I’m not looking to go that far. I don’t like the marketing camapign, where they are associating the Pepsi logo with a political message. So, I’m trying to avoid products that use that logo, and going to a competitor that provides a comparable product instead.

malclave on January 21, 2009 at 8:56 PM

Argh. Pepsi is cheaper, but Coke isn’t a bunch of pandering she-men. The Pig will be enjoying a Coke from now on, and the Pepsi will be shelved right along with those bastards from Miller.

CapitalistPig on January 21, 2009 at 8:59 PM

yeah, this is the same canned response that I received from:

Margaret Corsi
Consumer Relations Representative
margaret.corsi@pepsi.com

When I responded that Pepsi had made their choice and that I’ve made mine (to not purchase Pepsi products), she promised to “forward your sentiments to our senior management team to be sure that they fully understand your position.”

Right…

john1schn on January 21, 2009 at 9:20 PM

I thought I saw a resemblance but I was like no, they wouldn’t….

jim_collins on January 21, 2009 at 9:43 PM

“Our advertising initiatives coinciding with the inauguration reflect the hope shared by Americans of all political persuasions that our new president will succeed in meeting the serious challenges facing our country and our world.”

Why is it we always hear this when Democrats win? “We all have to pull together now!” When a Republican wins, “WE WAS ROBBED!!!”

ddrintn on January 21, 2009 at 10:41 PM

For the record, Yum Brands is not owned by PepsiCo. PepsiCo spun off the KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut line in 1997. Yum Brands now owns these brands plus Long John Silvers, and A&W restuarants. Yum Brands is independent of PepsiCo, but they do have lifetime contracts with Pepsi to serve only Pepsi beverages, with some exceptions. Dr. Pepper, a Coke product, is served in A&W restaurants. Incidentally, if you want to show support for Coke, you may refresh yourself with over 2800 beverages, including Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Tab, Mello Yello, Fresca, Full Throttle and Vitamin Energy drinks, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Nestea, Caribou Coffee, and Dasani water, plus many, many more. Go to the Coke website for a full list. And no, I do not work for Coke.

Ramlady on January 22, 2009 at 1:50 AM

I received the same reply to my email. I knew it was a canned response put out by some PR flack so I sent back a single word reply to it.

SKYFOX on January 22, 2009 at 5:07 AM

I can honestly say it’s been over 20 years since I drank a Pepsi. I am a classic Coke kind of gal. The best Cuba Libre you’ll ever drink is Coca Cola, Brugal Dominican rum and a squeeze of key lime.

chunderroad on January 22, 2009 at 5:48 AM

Can anyone else help the list grow? Generic is looking better all the time.

MikeA on January 21, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Pepsi Owns Yum Brands.

This includes stellar gourmet eateries such as:

Taco Bell
KFC

It’ll be hard to stay away but…I’ll find a way.

The End of the Republic is Nigh.

Dorvillian on January 21,

Diet Pepsi used to be my favorite. I’d drink one a day for years,, up until the CEO said America is giving the world the middle finger. I suddenly couldn’t stomach the taste and wrote several emails. Never heard a single response. I have probably had no more than 2-3 Pepsi’s in the past 3 years, and it was because one was handled to me in a crowded party or someone brought one in with my lunch which I did not order. I will not pay for one, and I will not drink them at all anymore. I hate the taste. Diet Coke is great and it tastes so so much better! I am satisfied with not buying Pepsi or Pepsi drinks, right now. Let them sell their drinks overseas in Europe, Iran and Kenya. They love life over there so much.

JellyToast on January 22, 2009 at 9:28 AM

I recieved the same form letter this morning.

All I have to say is:

Me and my RC, Me and my RC. What’s good enough for other folks aint good enough for me…….

Cadbury,Schweps rocks

Burgher on January 22, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Here’s the link about the “middle finger remark,”
http://wizbangblog.com/content/2006/08/15/pepsis-middle-finger-cfo-to-be.php
Seems Pepsi is developing their own kind of history.

JellyToast on January 22, 2009 at 9:35 AM

Pepsi’s all, “Please don’t hurt us!”

Rae on January 22, 2009 at 9:58 AM

“Sams” brand for me. Pepsi go to hell.

hawkdriver on January 22, 2009 at 11:02 AM

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