PepsiCo’s Frank Cooper On New Campaign: ‘Surprising How Much Emotion Is Tied To The Super Bowl’

Pepsi officially launched their Refresh Everything Project today, a marketing campaign that will dole out more than $20 million over the next year to fund consumer generated ideas that people “believe will make an impact on their communities.”

In an interview with PRNewser, PepsiCo Chief Engagement Officer Frank Cooper said the campaign signals a “time to re-launch the brand.” Cooper spoke at the opening press conference for Social Media Week New York this morning, of which PespiCo is a major sponsor.

While the overall campaign launched in 2009, “this year it was time to actually walk the talk” in terms of social media, Cooper said, while making the point that the Refresh Project is “more about a movement than a singular moment.”

Speaking of singular moment, the brand made big waves last month, when they announced for the first time in 23-years Pepsi would not advertise in the Super Bowl.

Cooper said the attention Pepsi received “wasn’t about the amount of money shifted,” but more because “the timing and the decision after 23-years of advertising was shocking to a lot of people.”

“It is surprising how much emotion is tied to the Super Bowl in terms of the industry and general public,” he said, noting that Pepsi had shifted much bigger marketing budgets in the past and received much less attention.

That being said, Cooper said the move is “more of a comment on, ‘What does it take to connect with consumers?'”

Voting begins today in the first round of the contest seeking “great ideas that refresh the world.” Demi Moore and Kevin Bacon have added their names to the project and Moore did a “Today” show segment today for the campaign. People can vote via Facebook as well as via the campaign’s website.

Edelman and Weber Shandwick are handling PR, along with TBWA Worldwide on the advertising side. The New York Times‘ Stuart Elliot has a comprehensive review as well.