Monday, January 3, 2011

Petitioning Pepsi

Pepsico, like any number of other major business brands, accepts video submissions for ideas for Super Bowl commercials. This is the marketing and merchandizing version of what walk-ons are in sports: an unknown gets a chance to try out and see if he's good enough to make the team.

One submission this year was for a Doritos spot. The 30-second clip featured a Catholic Church with waning attendance, and whose pastor decided to use Doritos at Communion. Attendance subsequently skyrocketed, and the Church's finances were back in the black.

One should be offended only at offensive things. This commercial qualifies by virtue of asserting that the Most Blessed Sacrament is less effectual or significant than a cheap snack.

The ad is almost as offensive as a Novus Ordo Mass.

I sent an email to the folks at Pepsico expressing my concerns about the ad; below is the reply I received. I don't know if petitions like mine were a factor in Pepsico's decision to not use that particular Dortio's ad for its Super Bowl spot; at the same time, registering an objection is so simple through digital channels that not saying something seemed to border on irresponsible.


Response from Pepsico

Thank you for contacting us at PepsiCo to share your sincere thoughts.

We want to reassure you that the commercial you cited was not one conceived and produced by PepsiCo, and it never aired on television. Rather, it was a consumer submission in our web-based Crash the Super Bowl promotion, in which participants can upload their own 30-second spots for Doritos tortilla chips or Pepsi MAX to be considered for broadcast during Super Bowl XLV.

We announced the contest finalists this morning and this consumer submission is not included in that selection. We hope you are further reassured to know that this consumer submission will not be aired during the Super Bowl, nor will it be included in any other Doritos or Pepsi MAX marketing programs in the future.

We apologize if you were upset or offended by this consumer submission, and we will share your feedback with our marketing teams so they can be aware of your concerns.

Thanks again for taking the time to write.

PepsiCo Consumer Relations

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sean. My Mom mentioned this to me last week. Thanks for the update. I sent her a link to your site. Bob