Solve Media claims that an individual is more likely to survive a plane crash than to click an online advertising banner. So what has PepsiCo. turned to in order to improve their online branding campaign? Has it been effective? And most importantly is it ethical?
In 2012 the company launched Pepsi Pulse which is a digital dashboard that curates trending entertainment and pop culture news. The theme ties into the brand
s long standing relationship with the music industry and further instills this theme by using celebrities to endorse the brand on social media sites by using #livefornow.
However, this marketing strategy was also intended to engage audiences by having celebrities encourage them to participate in mini challenges such as taking photos and making videos. This part of the campaign appears to have failed with the company struggling to create interactive content.
The company now seems to have moved into native advertising by using advertorials on websites such as Buzzfeed. Some argue that ethically native advertising is considered wrong as it intentionally aims to deceive readers by making them believe the content is real rather than sponsored. However, PepsiCo clearly make their intentions obvious by displaying their logo along with the the words “featured partner”.
Whether or not this form of advertising is any more successful than the old banner advertisement is, however, debatable. Studies have found that readers find this type of content particularly annoying. PepsiCo should therefore aim to reconnect with their target audience by involving them in their branding strategy.