2017: The Tact of Advertising the Drink of Diplomacy

Drinks companies constantly produce and push campaigns through various social media platforms and TV channels.  We’re so used to seeing them that we almost become desensitised.  However, in April 2017 campaigns from drinks giants Pepsi and Heineken became hot topics for different reasons.  Both put out issue-driven messages but one took the internet by storm and the other had to be taken down…

 

Heineken’s ‘Worlds Apart’ social experiment reached 13,520,408 views on YouTube with #OpenYourWorld creating a real conversation on Twitter. At the start of the video the question, “Is there more that unites than divides us?” was asked in between short clips of six people describing their views on topical issues such as; Climate Change, LGBT rights and Feminism. By addressing real world issues, Heineken created a campaign that everyday people could relate to, choosing subjects at the forefront of today’s society.

 

In contrast to Heineken, Pepsi took inspiration from the social justice movements Black Lives Matter, yet the campaign was vague and lacked any acknowledgement of real-world issues.  The advert showed a generic protest with a serious looking police officer relaxing when handed a Pepsi by super model, Kendall Jenner.

 

This message was not received well by viewers.  Bernise King, daughter of Martin Luther King tweeted a picture of her father with the caption: “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” The lack of perspective was put down to the campaign being created in-house in comparison to creative agency input.

 

The question is – Did they create these as PR stunts purposefully taking a gamble on the outcome?  When creating a PR or marketing campaign, every element needs to be dissected and each possible reaction debated to prevent a PR disaster. As the saying goes, ‘There’s no such thing as bad PR’, but careful planning, understanding your audience and preventing the inevitable is all part of the difference between a bad campaign and a truly great one.

 

If you feel your business needs some guidance to create the best PR campaign, get in touch. We are what you need.