CAMPAIGNS: Pepsi homes in on its US heritage - Brand Management

Pepsi has been in Eastern Russia for 20 years but while there is a high brand definition among consumers, Pepsi tends to be seen as a Russian product rather than a more desirable American brand.

Pepsi has been in Eastern Russia for 20 years but while there is a

high brand definition among consumers, Pepsi tends to be seen as a

Russian product rather than a more desirable American brand.

Until last year, Pepsi in Eastern Russia was also mainly sold through

franchise agreements with local bottlers. This meant there was no

overall co-ordination and sales and distribution were uneven. To reverse

this trend, London agency Inskip supported by Moscow-based Public

Relations and Promotion Group (PRP) were brought in by PIB to create the

Pepsi Zone Roadshow as a roll-out of its Pepsi Blue campaign.


To develop PIB’s consumer message underlining the American heritage of

the Pepsi brand, increase sales and develop its trade and distribution

network in Eastern Russia.


The American-themed Pepsi Zone Roadshow was devised as a means of

underlining the US-heritage of the brand to consumers while providing

access to potential distributors.

The tour combined road show events (aimed at press and trade) and rock

concerts (aimed at consumers). The two rock concerts featured the aptly

named Blues Brothers, Russian dance club band MF3 and Russian female

vocalist Alyoma Svirodova. The accompanying 12 press and trade

conferences were fronted by the president of PIB, Larry Hershsfield with

up to 120 people attending each session.

The programme was put together in six weeks from initial discussion to

the first event. This included finding sites, theming the events, script

writing, video production, equipment hire and purchase and shipping of

crew and equipment from the UK to the nine regions hosting the


Inskip provided the equipment and crew for press conferences and

concerts while PRP took responsibility for regional media contacts. A

media audit was carried out prior to each event and speakers briefed on

the prevailing mood of the local media. The agencies also worked closely

with regional managers in order to ensure that all nine presentations

were tailored to the local market.


Some 40,000 people attended the two rock concerts in Volga and Siberia

and both were broadcast on national and local television. This, coupled

with the extensive national and local cross-media coverage, meant the

campaign reached an audience of around 100 million.

Ken Newell PIB’s executive vice president and chief operating officer

says: ’So far our unit sales have substantially increased between 70 and

80 per cent, which proves that taking activities out to the regions can

have a dramatic effect on motivating the local teams and stimulating

consumer sales.’ There are plans for a further rigorous campaign this



With its mix of entertainment and hard fact, the Pepsi Roadshow

successfully picked up on the Russian craze for all things Americana

delivering its message to its dual audiences in a surprisingly neat

package considering the logistical nightmares facing any PR agency

operating in this vast country.

With each city effectively equipped with its own media infrastructure,

it was essential to have an operator on the ground who could tap into

local interests and the smooth liaison between the UK and Russian

agencies was key to its success. Both agencies continue to work on the

campaign and Inskip is to open a Moscow office later this year. PIB is

to open new plants in Eastern Russia and further road show events are

now planned to capitalise on the success of the campaign.

Client: Pepsi International Bottlers (PIB)

PR team: Inskip and PRP

Campaign: Pepsi Zone Roadshow

Timescale: July 1996 - ongoing

Estimated cost: over pounds 500,000

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