PURCHASE, NY: PepsiCo has picked independent, Hispanic-owned firm Boden to lead PR and creative for Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow), the company’s newly launched $50 million multiyear platform supporting Hispanic-owned businesses.
Boden began working with PepsiCo in April on Juntos Crecemos, which launched at the end of last month. Both the agency and client declined to provide details on the pitch or agency-hiring process.
Co-led by Boden associate director Michelle Kawas and senior director Andy Checo, who joined the firm this summer, Boden is responsible for the platform’s brand identity, including its name, as well as its PR, social media and creative strategy. As part of the initiative, PepsiCo launched an anthem spot detailing its commitment to Hispanic small businesses and encouraging others to support them.
“Given PepsiCo’s focus on increasing its spend with diverse suppliers, we wanted to hire an agency that is Hispanic-owned and would understand how to authentically connect to the community we are intending to reach and serve,” said Esperanza Teasdale, VP and general manager for PepsiCo Beverages North America’s Hispanic business unit, in an email.
As part of the initiative, the PepsiCo Foundation launched Impacto Hispanic Business Accelerator, which will provide $10 million to 500 Hispanic small food and beverage business owners in 13 cities in the U.S., including restaurant, bodega and meat market owners. Juntos Crecemos is an extension of PepsiCo’s Hispanic initiative, following its $172 million commitment to support Hispanic entrepreneurs in October 2020.
“This is an indication that brands today are looking to partner with independent agencies that truly understand the nuances of diverse communities,” said Natalie Boden (below), founder and president of Boden in an email. “It’s not only about marketing to the Hispanic community, it’s about investing in this coveted demographic. Juntos Crecemos is an example of a true long-term commitment to the segment, and PepsiCo is one of the brands leading the way in its commitment to this community.”
PepsiCo’s Hispanic commitments come on the heels of a more-than-$400-million commitment to Black equality and entrepreneurship last year. In March, the company also started a $40 million community college program to support Black and Hispanic students.
Over the course of the last year, PepsiCo has shared internal diversity data detailing its demographic breakdown. According to the latest data, the company has increased its Black managerial representation to 8%, including adding 28 Black associates to its executive ranks.