Where was Pepsi during the Super Bowl?

Did you enjoy all of the great commercials during the super bowl? This year I enjoyed both the game and the commercials, so I rarely got up from the TV. And though I was immersed in the activities on the TV screen, I didn’t particularly notice who was NOT advertising. But for the past 20+ years, Pepsi has been visible, but not this year. So what happened?

Interesting story. Pepsi is investing instead in a social media program called Refresh Everything. It will funnel $20 million into charities by giving away grants to fund what it calls great ideas that will refresh the world. Visitors to the Refresh Project site can submit proposals to apply for grants, then other users can vote on the ideas. Pepsi execs told Mediaweek they believed in the program because “it rested on four big trends: crowdsourcing, doing good, sharing and transparency.”

According to the Refresh Project website:

Pepsi is giving away millions to fund great ideas.
Voting for the new ideas is now open. Find your favorite ideas and come back to support them all month.

During each Application Period, (and there are 12) there are up to thirty-two (32) grants available to be awarded for a total of up to $1.3 million in accordance with the following table.
Number of Grants Available
(Per Application Period) Amount of Grant (Per Application Period)
2 $250,000
10 $50,000
10 $25,000
10 $5,000
TOTAL: 32 TOTAL GRANT VALUE: $1,300,000

Who decides the winners? The viewers, us. But you have to go online to vote. Refresheverything.com

It remains to be seen how this initiative will benefit Pepsi’s bottom line. But in any case, it’s going to make a significant investment in socially responsible causes.


(Side bar) Soon after Refresh Everything was announced, every time someone visits Coke’s fan page or makes a donation, the Facebook campaign donates $1 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

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