This has engendered great joy in certain quarters -- including yours truly. The reason for the widespread schadenfreude is that the man behind this travesty - president of the Pepsi beverage group, Brad Jakeman - is a loudmouth who has been very openly critical of ad agencies.
Jakeman was quoted as saying it was
“absolutely baffling” that the large advertising holding companies are not “buying up all of these incredible content” producers.
So Jakeman went ahead with great fanfare and created his own "content" playpen which he modestly named "Creators League Studio." He bills himself as the head of this studio. His "studio" created this monstrosity.
I can't prove it, but the spot in question has the smell of a Jakeman vanity project all over it. It is the kind of cliché-festooned work that a talent-free amateur playing at creative director might concoct.
This is not to say that agencies can't produce stinkers -- I've certainly written my share -- but the size of this one coupled with the chest-pounding of the guy in charge makes it particularly amusing.
There are some lessons to be learned from this...
First, allowing amateurs to produce your advertising is like giving a 16-year-old a medical marijuana card and the keys to the Lexus.
Second, trend-chasing is a dangerous business.
Pepsi has been doing this for years with nothing to show for it but failure. They have demonstrated no ability to fashion a coherent brand strategy. All they do is jump from one fad to another. Their marketing strategy can be described in two words -- "whatever's trending."
Third, what you say
is different from what you communicate. Good marketing people understand this. Bad ones don’t. Pepsi thought they were saying that they’re a hip, sensitive, and concerned brand. What they communicated was that they are shameless, clueless opportunists.
Next, “content” is usually just a
pleasanter word for ”shit.”
Finally, the internet has a mind of its own. Thinking you can outsmart the web and go "viral" is a game for fools. When web maniacs “join the conversation” it is mostly to bury brands, not to praise them.
Pepsi's blunder is just more proof that many marketers live in a fantasyland that is disassociated from the real world. One might say marketers are from Mars, consumers are from New Jersey... hey, wait a
minute...isn't that the title of a book I wrote...?