Consumers Rock On The Web

Or Doing digital right as the Vancouver Sun headlined the item.

Big brands need not be afraid of the power that social media places in the hands of consumers, says Bonin Bough, global director of digital and social media of PepsiCo Inc.  Advertisers must realize that digital marketing cannot simply extend the creative work of a traditional media campaign.

The clout of social media is no longer in question. Positive and negative buzz from vocal online commenters can galvanize into a marketing success or a snafu very quickly,

That is why PepsiCo sponsored South by Southwest 2009 interactive and musical festival in Austin, Texas.  It was lauded as a savvy example of linking the Pepsi brand to “content” in the form of user-generated media, live music and creative events rather than using traditional advertising.

Mr.. Bough said. “If Coca-Cola is Frank Sinatra, then we are Madonna, constantly evolving,” he added, paraphrasing new media wunderkind David Armano. “The culture of PepsiCo is an evolutionary culture.” Striving to stay ahead of its rivals in the area of innovation helped Pepsi decide to launch the new Pepsi logo through social media before images were released through traditional media. “We knew we were going to get a lot of real conversation and thoughts in social media and that was what we wanted.”

Apparently PepsiCo will still have traditional agencies of record for brands, but for social and digital programs they will be looking for all the non-traditional people who can help think about these very different digital media and how best to develop communication programs.

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