While some people tend to fast forward during television commercials, many actually look forward to advertising spots during the Super Bowl game. Those clever, thought-provoking, entertaining and very expensive commercials are often a Super Bowl highlight for many, football fan or not.
But for the first time in more than 20 years, Pepsi (NYSE:PEP) will not be advertising during the game this year. The food and soft drink giant spent a reported $33 million on ads for various products during the football event in 2008. But this year, Pepsi is pouring millions into a refreshingly new, innovative social media campaign.
The Pepsi Refresh Project is searching for ideas from non-profits, businesses and individuals that will make a “positive impact” to help improve the environment and “refresh” their communities. The company is giving millions of dollars to fund great ideas in six categories – health, arts & culture, food & health, the planet, neighborhoods and education.
Beginning January 13, 2010, all legal residents of the United States, 13 and older, can apply for a Pepsi Refresh Grant. Up to 32 grants will be awarded each month, valued at up to $1.3 million. All projects must be completed within 12 months of receiving the funding. Applications and informational toolkit are available online. Beginning February 1st, consumers can participate in the Pepsi Refresh Project by voting on the submitted ideas.
A Greener Pepsi
And according to a 2008 Corporate Citizen Report, the Refresh Project is not the only eco-friendly effort the company has developed. PepsiCo is looking forward to a greener future and has numerous environmental sustainability projects underway:
- Pepsi also developed its Sustainable Engineering Guidelines (SEG), based on LEED standards, in an effort to ensure new facilities, and the remodeling of existing buildings are constructed using environmentally sustainable standards.
- The Environmental Sustainability Leadership Team and Green Teams, comprised of employee volunteers, have also been established.
- The Sustainable Agriculture Council was established in order to “ensure that environmental impacts are considered in our agricultural research, development and management decision making.”
- In an effort to reduce its water footprint and avoid water conflicts with communities and ecosystems, Pepsi is committed to cutting its company-wide water use by 20 percent. 7.5 billion liters of water were conserved in 2008. The company is involved with various nonprofit organizations to improve public access to water.
- The company also plans to reduce its fuel consumption by 25 percent and electricity by 20 percent by 2015 compared to the company’s consumption of 2006.
- PepsiCo is also reducing its packaging. 2008 saw the introduction of new half-liter Aquafina, Lipton Iced Tea and Tropicana bottles. The bottles contain 20 percent less plastic than previous versions and have smaller labels as well. It is estimated those two efforts will reduce greenhouse emissions by 18,000 metric tons annually and reduce 6 million kilograms of packaging each year. And in an effort to promote sustainable packaging, a new Sustainable Packaging Council was formed.
Image courtesy of Flickr
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