Smiles and Purpose.


I just read a couple of PepsiCo’s strategy statements.  PepsiCo is the $70B master brand for a broad assortment of sugary carbonated drinks and salty snacks, along with some other portfolio products in water, juice, tea and Quaker breakfast foods and snacks.

It’s hard to do strategy for a massive conglomerate of brands. It’s especially hard when most of those brands are convenience store foods and rather unhealthy. But this is America and where there is demand there’s will be supply.

Here is PepsiCo’s stated corporate mission: To create more smile with every sip and bite.

And here is their vision statement: Be the global leader in convenience food and beverage with purpose.

So to sum up the mega billion portfolio, it’s all about smiles and purpose.  Hmm. Where do I start? Try giving that brief to a creative team at BBDO.

As I said, conglomerate company strategy is hard. General Motors has tried to do it using advertising and it never worked. Advertising agency holding companies know better. IPG, WPP, Omnicom never try to explain their value. It’s like herding cats.

Back to Smiles and Purpose. Purpose is something you communicate if you are not known for having purpose…other than, perhaps making money. And Smiles? Well, they are not wrong.  But it’s just hard to own. Smiles are the universal language of enjoyment and as such not very differentiated.

If PepsiCo really wanted to promote purpose, they would pick one. And only one. Planet. Diversity. Equality. But not all. PepsiCo’s mission and vision deserve better. What’s that story about the cobblers children?