About 2 months ago I wrote a piece called "Social Media's Massive Failure".
It was about the failure of the Pepsi Refresh Project. Most of you disagreed
with my observations that the Refresh effort was a failure. Recently The New
Yorker published an article called "Snacks for a Fat Planet". It isn't specifically
about the Refresh project.
It is about PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi's attempt to transform the
company from the world's largest maker of soda and crappy food into a
company with respectable standards and values. It is actually a very interesting
article and Nooyi comes off as an intelligent, thoughtful but somewhat jargony
leader.The article talks about Refresh as part of Pepsi's desire
to be perceived as a "good" company ...the strategy was to use social media to
promote the image of PepsiCo... to bring the flagship brand more in line with
PepsiCo's "performance with purpose" agenda...Then it goes on to note that
Pepsi's share had dropped 4.8% since the program was introduced.
... the Refresh campaign garnered more than eighty million votes,
got three and a half million likes on Pepsi's Facebook page, and drew some
sixty thousand Twitter followers. But the campaign didn't sell Pepsi.Which to
my ear sounds an awful lot like this paragraph from Social Media's Massive
"Over 80 million votes were registered; almost 3.5 million
"likes" on the Pepsi Facebook page; almost 60,000 Twitter followers. The only
thing it failed to do was sell Pepsi." The article concludes...
"It appears that hearing about all the good things that PepsiCo is doing to help
make the world a better place does not tempt you to down a
Pepsi". As we know, there are many in the marketing world who
cannot see the limitations of social media, no matter how compelling the
evidence. Consequently, those of us with open minds and functional synapses
need to remain skeptical and vocal about the "magic" of social media.
"Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to
believe." -- Euripides