sip on this

PepsiCo Gets More Investor Pressure

Posted by Dale Buss on May 21, 2012 12:55 PM

PepsiCo executives have been trying to hold critics of the company's performance at bay over the last year or two, and they're just getting started re-energizing marketing behind the flagship Pepsi brand with the global Live for Now campaign. But the high-profile effort, which kicked off with Nicki Minaj and taps into the brand's most famous brand ambassador in Michael Jackson, isn't silencing the increasing calls from impatient investors about splitting up PepsiCo similar to the ongoing investor-inspired divison of Kraft.

For one thing, there's a new investor in town for PepsiCo — activist shareholder Ralph Whitworth, whose Relational Investors LLC last week took a $600-million stake in the beverage giant. His style is to compel company managements to engage him in discussion about how to fundamentally streamline operations, and then he'll leave them alone. Maybe.Continue reading...


Frito-Lay Passes Million-Mile Electric Vehicle Milestone

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2012 01:06 PM

Frito-Lay and parent company PepsiCo have a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability, and the snack brand has delivered on another milestone as their all-electric trucks have just charged their way to one million miles.

Since going electric late last year, its fleet of 176 trucks by Smith Electric Vehicles has eliminated the need for approximately 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The all-electric trucks are used for deliveries on urban routes with fewer daily miles.Continue reading...

chew on this

Smartfood Tempts Healthy Snackers By Upping the Flavor

Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2012 12:02 PM

A year ago, Frito-Lay was stymied about how to expand its healthy snack business. Now its nutritionists and flavor profilers have figured out a way to drive sales by pushing the taste frontiers of "all-natural snacking." To that end, it's expanding its Smartfood brand with a new line called Smartfood Selects. The new sub-brand offers more varieties of products and an array of nutritious-sounding flavors such as feta herb hummus.

While parent PepsiCo is focused on the carbonated side of its beverage business, Frito-Lay has led the better-for-you charge for the company's edible brands for a number of years, with initiatives such as baked instead of fried potato chips, the SunChips line and Flat Earth, a since-stalled line of vegetable and fruit snack chips introduced several years ago.Continue reading...

branding together

May the Force Tag With You: Brisk Connects Star Wars Fans to Xbox Kinect

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 4, 2012 06:01 PM

Chris Pratt has the Force behind him in the above video promoting the new Kinect Star Wars game for Xbox 360.

The timing also inspired Pepsi's Brisk Iced Tea branding team to expand its recent Star Wars co-marketing push with a new promotion that gives players an Anakin Skywalker pod-racer as the new Kinect Star Wars game hits 7-Eleven stores this week, priced at $50.

Specially marked 1-liter bottles of Brisk now sport a Microsoft Tag bar code (or M-tag) that can be scanned with the Xbox 360's Kinect motion sensor. The partnership marks the first use of M-tags for a video game promotion, and the first test of the Microsoft mobile technology by a PepsiCo brand.Continue reading...


PepsiCo Changes Oil in India, Sheds 'Snack Smart' Logo

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 27, 2012 02:02 PM

For a few years now in India, PepsiCo has been making its snacks with rice-bran oil, a fact that allowed it to stick a “snack smart” logo on the packaging. After all, the snacks then “had 40% less saturated fat, zero trans fats and no added monosodium glutamate,” the Economic Times reports. The publication notes that the company made various pronouncements “across various multimedia campaigns” about the oil switch back in 2007.

Well, that was then. Recently, the company didn’t bother to use those various multimedia campaigns to let folks know about a different switch: a return to the original, cheaper palm oil. It simply removed the logo from such products as Lay’s chips, Krukure, Uncle Chipps, and Cheetos.

Three officials tell the Times that the switch was driven by a cost-saving measure — stop using the pricier rice-bran oil because it wasn't driving sales. No rice bran oil; no snack smart logo. "Our analysis of consumer feedback on the use of rice bran oil showed that the consumer did not show any added preference to the use of rice bran oil," a PepsiCo spokesman told ET.Continue reading...

chew on this

Doritos Gets Jacked Up at SXSW

Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2012 12:05 PM

The new Doritos have a larger-than-life flavor, so what better way for PepsiCo's snack brand to introduce them to the world than with a larger-than-life "vending machine"?

At the cauldron of brand and music and digital fervor that is the annual SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Doritos is unveiling its latest innovation: Doritos Jacked tortilla chips, which are 40 percent larger than conventional Doritos and come in two flavors, Enchilada Supreme and Smokey Chipotle BBQ. As it's been promoting on Twitter and Facebook, Doritos promises that Jacked Tortilla chips (hitting stores on March 26th) will deliver a "one-two punch of intense flavors up front, followed by a twist of spice or tanginess that packs the ultimate crunch."

To drive home the point, Doritos is promoting the Jacked chip line with a 56-foot-high vending machine at SXSW. Consumers at the festival, while sampling the new chips, can get "larger-than-life Doritos-branded quarters" via Foursquare and Twitter.Continue reading...

chew on this

Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos Arrive with TV Spots, Augmented Reality Twitter

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 8, 2012 04:45 PM

Are you ready to go Doritos Locos? Taco Bell introduces the highly anticipated Doritos Locos Tacos in three test markets today, and fans are willing to drive as far as 965 miles to get their hands on one as seen above in launch spot, "Road Trip," which will run during the NBA on TNT and The Jersey Shore on MTV this evening.

Doritos fans, a.k.a. "Doritos-heads" are infamous for their passion and antics such as "Crash the Super Bowl" amateur commercials on Game Day. Doritos Locos Tacos have "Taco Bell on the inside and Doritos on the outside," and the product launch is part of the brand’s 50th anniversary this year.

The co-branded product launch with Doritos includes an augmented reality execution on the side of Taco Bell cups so users can see tweets on their smartphones in real-time, contribute their own tweet, and see the broadcasts on live digital billboards in New York’s Times Square and Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Trademark Wars Escalate and it's all the Web's Fault

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2012 10:01 AM

Building up a brand has always been crucial to a business but the value has gone up even higher in the Internet age. The New York Times reports “brand experts and trademark lawyers say the value of simple, easily understood brand names has escalated in the Internet era because consumers are more likely to find such products while doing searches on the Web.”

Because of that, trademark fights have escalated, the Times notes, pointing to the trademark spat over the phrase "app store" by Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon.

But it is the smaller companies that have more stake in grabbing hold of those trademarks, the NYT points out, since the larger ones can attempt to crush the smaller — a legal tactic that some call "trademark bullying."Continue reading...

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