MONDAY RADIO COMMERCIAL SMACKDOWN: Pepsi’s Live For Today Dies On Radio

by Dan O'Day on November 12, 2012

First, let’s listen to the radio commercial.

That’s a typical example of an agency that is intent on “branding” (which, for Pepsi, makes sense) but doesn’t understand how radio advertising works.

The Rationale: Pepsi’s Slogan of the Moment is “Live For Now.” So let’s give a bunch of amusing, quirky examples of how listeners could be “living for now.”

The Reality: The amusing, quirky examples were communicated only with words, not with word pictures. As a result, even now you’re having a hard time remembering more than one of them.

(The one you might be remembering is “China,” because possibly you envisioned a little village when you heard “tiny province in China you can’t even pronounce.”)

They wasted 30 seconds trying to prove how clever they are, while the audience is left with nothing.

And the Guitar Center tag? Well, I’m guessing it’s part of the spot because in the U.S. you don’t hear many 45-second commercials.

If indeed it’s part of the Pepsi commercial, the 15-second plug for the music contest wipes away any hope of anyone remembering the point of the 45 seconds that preceded it.

Comments

comments

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Neal Angell November 12, 2012 at 1:08 am

Ugh, I know what you mean! We aired this spot and I despised it instantly. It’s just one of those spots that makes you go “What the (bleep) is this (bleep)?!”

I especially hate the example of “invent a new language you speak only with your two new best friends.” I’m pretty sure anyone who has time to sit around inventing a secret language doesn’t have any friends. That example actually conjured up a mental image for me, but not a positive one. I picture a Comic Con full of Star Trek geeks who speak Klingon to each other. Yeah, that’s what I want to be associated with; I’m going to grab a Pepsi so I can enjoy the drink of dateless wonders.

As far as the tag goes, I wonder if some producer just screwed up and didn’t read the tag instructions. We often receive :45 Pepsi spots, but they’ll come with a local :15 tag that reads something like, “Right now at Road Ranger pick up two 12-packs of Pepsi for just 7 bucks, or two 20-ounce bottles of Pepsi for just 2-50.” I would guess what you’re hearing is an untagged Pepsi spot followed by a separate :15 for Guitar Center.

Chris Squires November 12, 2012 at 10:07 am

Hey! Back off the Comic Con rhetoric!

Neal Angell November 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

@Chris Squires: Hey, no offense. :) My brother-in-law owns his own comics and collectibles store and is a frequent Comic Con visitor (you should see the artwork all over his house). But I do hear about a lot of weird people in costumes (although I know that’s just one representation of the Comic Con crowd).

So I’m just saying, that’s an image I wouldn’t want to be associated with and I think it’s a stupid way to try and sell Pepsi – just my personal opinion, which everyone is entitled to. I also hate the Double Dutch Jump Rope example (if someone uploads a jump rope video that gets a BILLION views, why are they achieving international fame in a small province of China?!) but that doesn’t mean I have a problem with jump ropes, in general. Jump ropes are all right, in my book!

Overall, my main problem with the spot is the point Dan was making: quirky and amusing does not equal results-getting. It just sounds to me like the agency was trying to generate chuckles rather than sales.

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