Pepsi: Refresh only the USA

by daniel on January 14, 2010

in Change The World

Got an email from Do Something about the new Pepsi Refresh the World grant, a new initiative by Pepsi to make a strong push into the social media/activism sphere. It really is an interesting shift in advertising strategy for Pepsi- it has long lagged behind Coke in many areas, especially in online social media. As this article reports, its Facebook fan page has “only” 250,000 people, versus Coke’s 4 million.

However something to note- I was initially quite excited about it. Pepsi giving away millions of dollars every month to change the world? That, till this caught my eye on their site.

May my project help someone overseas?

No, all Applications must be submitted by US residents and must benefit projects taking place and serving the US.

Those are some pretty clear words. Granted, its their money and they can choose how to use it- and there are many causes in the US that need as much or more help as the world outside. But by launching an online social media campaign (read: global audience) about refreshing the “world”, and then excluding everyone else in it but the USA, it sends the message that only the US matters to them. Pepsi sure is a global brand- just don’t expect it to refresh the world.

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