First, Pepsi announced it would team up with the estate of the King of Pop, coinciding with this year’s 25th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album.
Now, Pepsi is introducing a campaign called “The Extra Hour” to promote Pepsi Next, its new 60-calorie variety. The soda brand is joining forces with TaskRabbit, a startup in which people enlist community members to help perform daily chores. Fans go to the website, sign up, and Pepsi will hand out 50 task helpers for one hour to winners for the next four weeks. The “Extra Hour” continues through Nov. 12.
Will people take Pepsi up on this? Yes! This is a great idea for a campaign. The winners get a free soda and a free task. Who doesn’t want to skip washing the dishes or scooting to the dry cleaner for a night, and just lay on the couch, drink soda, and watch “Nashville” instead?
I wonder about the longevity of this campaign, however. It ends in four weeks with 200 ultimate winners. While it may gain good press for the brand, especially if the winners use word-of-mouth to spread their like of TaskRabbit and/or Pepsi Next, where does the promotion for the diet drink go from here? While Pepsi dream up another partnership or turn to a generic online, television, and print campaign?
If it doesn’t gain the traction Pepsi desires, I won’t be surprised to see Pepsi Next go the failed route of Pepsi Blue (2002-2004), Sprite Remix (2003-2005), and Coca-Cola’s Surge (1996-2002).