Pepsi Skips Super Bowl TV Advertising for Social Media

To Pepsi, and to companies around the world, the days when mass-market media is the sole vehicle to reach an audience are officially over. Instead of pouring millions of dollars into a Super Bowl commercial, Pepsi has started a social-media campaign to promote its “Pepsi Refresh” initiative. Pepsi plans to give away $20 million in grant money to fund projects in six categories: health, arts and culture, food and shelter, the planet, neighborhoods and education.

This is an interesting move by Pepsi. Yes, it’s generous of them to promote such a worthy cause. But also it’s a confirmation of the growing importance of social media in our culture today.

About the current social media phenomenon:

I think it’s like when economists announce that we’ve been in a recession since such-and-such date — indicating that we’ve been in a recession for six months and haven’t (officially) realized it. We’re at that point now with social media. A year or so from now we’ll look back and see when social media reached the tipping point and began the dominant role it plays today. My bet? The Obama presidential campaign.