With the swinging fortunes of cricket stars, PepsiCo India is gearing up to launch a brand new advertising campaign for Pepsi with out any star endorsers. Currently, PepsiCo India has twelve star endorsers from Bollywood and the Indian cricket team.
“Pepsi’s new campaign will be a consumer–centric advertising campaign without any celebrities,” informed industry sources. ‘Celebrities may come and go but brands are forever,’ seems to be PepsiCo’s new motto.
Incidentally, PepsiCo has not yet renewed Sachin Tendulkar’s contract which expired in May this year. According to industry sources, PepsiCo is now shifting its marketing focus to MS Dhoni, the highest paid IPL player. “The company will bring in MS Dhoni to the centre space from side lines. Of course, PepsiCo will make Dhoni wear some decent clothes to erase his Lungi-clad image,” said Prahlad Kakar, a leading ad film maker in Mumbai. Remember Pepsi’ ads featuring Dhoni, captain of the Chennai Super Kings team?
Enthused by the response to Dhoni’s ‘Mind it’ ads, the company will now project Dhoni as its brand icon in the next few months, predict industry analysts. “Young cine stars Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor now star in Pepsi Youngistan campaign. Very soon, we may see Dhoni sharing the screen space with Shar Rukh Khan in Pepsi ads,” added analysts.When contacted by FE, PepsiCo India declined to comment on its advertising plans.
On PepsiCo’s shift in strategy, Ramesh Narayan, veteran advertising professional based in Mumbai said: “I think every brand needs to keep in mind its profile. And Pepsi has always stood for the youth. I do not think it is any comment on Tendulkar as a player but they need to refresh their stable of sports person with younger people.” In sync with its new strategy, PepsiCo has roped in Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma to feature in its ‘Yeh hai Youngistan Meri Jaan’-dumping cricket stars Dravid and Ganguly.
Meanwhile, Frito Lay, PepsiCo’s snack foods arm has revamped its retail strategy by offering 33% extra in all ‘Lays’ packs -- at no extra cost. “For ‘Kurkere, it is offering 20% extra. In fact, PepsiCo’s pricing strategy is quite effective in today’s price-sensitive markets,” said a leading retailer in Mumbai.