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Pepsi Drops Super Bowl Ads in Favor of Cause Marketing

pepsi refreshCause marketing, including asking consumers how they would improve sustainability and the environment, will take the place of PepsiCo’s traditional TV advertising that accompanies the Super Bowl, reports DMNews.

This will be the first time in 23 years that the Super Bowl will not have an ad promoting Pepsi. Last year, Pepsi spent $33 million advertising its brands during the game.

The average Super Bowl spot costs about $3 million.

This year, Pepsi is trying to build a two-way dialogue with consumers by asking them to go to a Web site and suggest ways that Pepsi can be involved in social causes.

As part of the promotion, Pepsi will be putting $20 million into its Refresh Project. Click here to visit the Refresh Everything Web site.

Beginning Feb. 1, consumers will have the chance to vote for how Pepsi should spend its money on suggested projects.

Each month, Pepsi will be awarding up to 2 grants of $250,000 to projects proposed by large organizations.

More grants in denominations of $50,000, $25,000 and $5,000 will be awarded each month for smaller organizations and individuals.

The project includes a microsite dubbed “The Planet.”

In its own operations, PepsiCo has saved more than 750,000 megawatt hours of energy and more than 7.5 billion liters of water as a result of gains in energy and water efficiency compared to the 2006 baseline.

The food and beverage company is committed to cutting company-wide water use by 20 percent, electricity by 20 percent and fuel by 25 percent by 2015, compared to 2006 usage levels.

The Super Bowl has been making efforts to present a greener image in recent years.

The 2009 Super Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla., featured green energy purchase and tree planting.

The 2008 Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, was the first ever powered completely with renewable energy by using solar, wind and geo-thermal energy to offset the GHG emissions.

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