Pepsi Tries Their Hand in Buzz Marketing

Pepsi is launching their new product Tava, a caffeine-free fruit-flavored beverage, a little differently this time around. Contrary to the usually-used high-energy television and print ads, Pepsi decided to use their interactive website, tava.com, promotions, and sampling stunts to promote the new product. They plan to distribute samples to popular shopping centers and big company employees like Google and MTV. Tava is intended for the “reborn digital” audience. This is men and women between the ages of 35-49 who have adapted and accepted the change towards our web-crazed world. Pepsi feels that this target audience is not distracted by all the social networks and instant-messages. They are on the web to check their e-mail, shop for travel and clothing, and research music and restaurants. It is featured in 8 major city markets and also at special events like the Shakespeare Festival in NYC and the Sundance Film Festival. The website features downloadable songs of new and upcoming artists and works of artists. Pepsi hopes to create an emotional connection with its consumers in hopes that they will create a positive image through word of mouth. The goal is to “talk to the few who could fuel many.” The main concern is that they will not be able to connect with the consumers. The last attempt in buzz marketing was Pepsi-One. It was introduced without the use of television commercials and unfortunately did not fair too well. Without that emotional connection, Pepsi will have a hard time bringing awareness to their new product. When comparing the two web-sites there is definitely a difference. Pepsi-One has the edgy look that would appeal more to the younger crowd whereas Tava has a feel for an earthier and calm look. By focusing on an older generation and making a strong connection Tava might have the opportunity to break the traditional television marketing barrier.

This is of interest because it shows how advertisers are using non-traditional forms of advertising instead of the usual television and print ads. While TV and print have a lot of effect on consumers, the new uses of the internet and promotions are gaining the interest of people everyday. In the days of Tivo and the demand for “right here, right now” the audiences are becoming less interested to sit and watch a commercial when they could just skip right through it. Pepsi is searching for new ways to bring back the attention to the product, Tava. The internet and other non-traditional forms of marketing are quickly moving to become one of the most effective forms to get a message out there and promote a product.