This article should have been titled, “Pepsi to Prove That Brand Recognition is Less of a Factor than Brand Loyalty”. Or….. "Pop Fo Sho" ad campaign failed so badly, Pepsi can’t do any worse with "Be my friend on face/Space/twit and I’ll give you $10" campaign.
The problem is that by not doing a Super Bowl is missing out on a big part of it’s social media strategy. Pepsi’s Super Bowl ads were Social Media, and they still are. More people watched the Cindy Crawford Pepsi Superbowl ad online than watched it in its first airing at the super bowl. The ‘long tail’ for those ads is forever.
And unlike "that’s a spicy meatball" that is the most watched ad of all time online, but very few people remember what it is an ad for… You might be distracted by Cindy’s figure, but when she puts that pepsi to her lips you are seeing, and perpetually burning in to every male’s mind "Man I wish I WAS a Pepsi right now"
Social Media is a HUGE misnomer. Internet "friending" campaigns don’t build new audience. It just lets you better market to your existing audience. Pepsi needs new people to drink it’s product, because those of us with a Mt. Dew addiction aren’t likely to drink any extra because of marketing.