This year instead of spending US$33 million on a Super Bowl advertising campaign, Pepsi will invest US$20 million on philanthropy through its online social campaign Refresh Project (alluding to the company motto “Each Pepsi refreshes the world”).
Starting on February 1st, visitors of the Refresh Project website will vote on how Pepsi should spend its grant money, donating to companies, NGOS and/or individuals with projects on the fields of health, environment, community, shelter, education, culture and arts.
Moreover, visitors can indicate their own organizations and grant ideas. Monthly Pepsi will give away up to 2 grants of US$250.000, up to 10 of US$50.000, up to 10 of US$25.000 and up to 10 of US$5.000.
Pepsi combined philanthropy and marketing while saving US$13 million and reaching, throughout the year, a public that perhaps would not watch the Super Bowl.
Maybe it is not all for philanthropy but there is nothing wrong with that. Lets hope that this case becomes a best practice expanding to Pepsi’s subsidiaries an to other companies around the world. At the end, marketing has to be good to the company but certainly can do much more for society and for sustainability.