Debrief: Pepsi: Not really a game changer

01 May,2012

By Anil Thakraney


It must have cost Pepsi a bomb to hire the services of football stars like Lampard, Torres and Drogba. Not to speak of expensive desi cricketers like Dhoni and Kohli. But does it work? Hmm, am not so sure.


Pepsi continues with its ‘Change the game’ theme this summer. When they first broke with this idea it was quite refreshing in terms of the execution. But am afraid its losing fizz as the idea gets extended. Perhaps it has to do with the way they are extending it. In the new TVC, the football stars play football with a cricket ball.


And there’s a ‘fun’ exchange between the cricketers and the footballers, as the two games collide.


Here are the problems with this commercial: I wonder how many Indians would recognize the international football stars, since the sport is not really famous in India. Perhaps some uber urban lads will, but Pepsi is a mass brand. Which then makes one question the heavy expenditure. Also, the marriage of the two games is clumsily done and the treatment is very predictable. And this directly hits the entertainment value of the ad. The script had to be very spunky and very surprising for it to work. Lastly, the brand has been forced into the situation in a very, let’s just say, unsmart manner. They simply had to find a cool way to make Pepsi an intrinsic part of the storyline.


In short, the ad lacks both, freshness and wit… the key ingredients of any Pepsi ad.


Rating: (On a scale of 1 to 5): 1. Game changed. Now change the ad.


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