Branding the Future with PepsiCo

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About this Guest Blogger: Ilana Arazie is a vlogger and blogger who writes at Social Times and Downtown Dharma. You can follow Ilana on Twitter @ilanadonna.

The times they are a-shifting!

Adweek’s Brian Morrissey this morning moderated “Branding the Future with Social Engagement,” a PepsiCo-sponsored event comprised of the brand’s judging panel for its new Refresh campaign, which strives to put power directly into the hands of consumers.

The panel consisted of Lauren Hobart, CMO of Sparkling Brands for Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages; Max Schorr, co-founder of GOOD, Inc.; Facebook’s VP Fabio Freyre and PepsiCo Chief Engagement Officer Frank Cooper. This group will ultimately decide how PepsiCo will spend the $20 million being funneled into community-enhancing projects via the Refresh campaign, which went live this morning on PepsiCo’s Web site.

Adweeks Brian Morrissey joins panelists from PepsiCo and Facebook to dicuss the brands new Refresh campaign. Photo by Leora Israel.

Adweek's Brian Morrissey joins panelists from PepsiCo, GOOD Inc. and Facebook to discuss the brand's new Refresh campaign. Photo by Leora Israel.

Morrissey asked how Pepsi’s leadership approached its decision to leap into the social media world. Hobart said momentum grew quickly with a consensus belief that the best way to drive a campaign is from the ground up. With that, change at Pepsi’s headquarters rose to the top. Campaigns will not work without two-way engagement with the consumer, he added.

Measurement was a hot-button topic for audience members interacting with the panel. While Pepsi uses many different types of measurement services, the company is largely focused on creating buzz and driving Pepsi engagement offline.

Freyre said he was impressed by Pepsi’s courage to embrace transparency, ignite crowd-sourcing and engage an audience using the social Web. Social media is responsible for bringing a face to the problems we face and the people who most need our help, added Schorr, who is also facilitating Pepsi’s Refresh campaign.

Photo by Leora Israel.

Panelists said that at PepsiCo’s last Town Hall meeting, employees were visibly moved by how social media can affect change. Given this, it seems social media is building morale internally as well as externally for PepsiCo.

A streaming press conference followed the panel; featuring Demi Moore and Kevin Bacon, both of whom have partnered with Pepsi on the Refresh Project. You can follow the initiative at or on Twitter @Pepsi and by using the #pepsirefesh hashtag.

Photos by Leora Israel. You can follow her on Twitter @leoraisrael and via

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