BBDO will diversify the pool of spots for Pepsi to lessen the tilt toward youth and better emphasize a new package redesign. New ads drew criticism from Pepsi-Cola bottlers at a convention in Hawaii recently.
Although bottlers often cannot relate to ads targeted at consumers much younger than they are, several found the ad strategy to be "too young" and not focused enough on the Pepsi's new globe icon. "Goose," a spot that aired during the Super Bowl which paired a sky surfer with a goose, was the only ad that appeared to draw near-universal favorable comments.
Partly in response, the agency is expected to shoot additional ads that are not as youth-oriented or that better flag the packaging change. At the same time, some ads in the initial batch shown to bottlers may not air this year, sources said. One source characterized the situation as an "adjustment period."
BBDO executives referred calls to Pepsi. A Pepsi representative said while some ads scored well with consumers, "We're reworking a couple of the spots and will probably shoot a couple of new spots as well."
The developments could spell trouble for Brian Swette, Pepsi's chief marketing officer since the spring of 1996. In the past month, Frito-Lay executive Dawn Hudson (a veteran of DDB Needham, Dallas, and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York) has quietly moved from Dallas to Pepsi-Cola in Somers, N.Y., to assist Swette on new products as senior vice president, new products and joint ventures.