Pepsi Refresh Project
This was our first project as GOOD/Corps. The idea was to add substance to the optimism-based campaign Pepsi launched after the 2008 presidential election; a democratic grant-making platform would replace Super Bowl ads. We worked on the initial strategy, built the grant-making system and created a lot of content from all the grantees. We worked closely with a big extended team - Chiat, HUGE, Global Giving, Edelman, Weber Shandwick and a lot more. I'm not sure I've ever worked as hard as in the months leading up to launch, and a lot of people said it couldn't be done.
A lot has been written about Pepsi Refresh, including a Harvard Business School case study. A lot of that focuses on whether 'it worked', and whether it drove as many direct sales as short term tactics like price promotions would have. What it did do was improve all of Pepsi's brand health metrics (see below), gave the brand a new relevance in the world, generated a lot of awareness (over 3 billion media impressions, 85 million votes — more than any US presidential candidate, ever), demonstrated what a social activation campaign could look like and put about $40M into over 800 community projects.
And we learned a lot.
“Without GOOD/CORPS, the Pepsi Refresh Project would not have happened.Why? Because they know the social impact space better
than anyone else, they have the network that helped us do it, and they know how to activate a community and get things done.”
—Ana Maria Irazabal, Marketing Director, Pepsi
We took it to Canada too -
New York Times: Pepsi Invites the Public to Do Good
New York Times: Good/Corps Aims to Help Business Meet Social Goals
Some highlights from the HBR case study: