Pepsi takes localised approach in Argentina

17 July 2009

BUENOS AIRES: PepsiCo, the US soft drinks giant, has launched a new campaign in Argentina offering consumers the chance to buy an alternative version of its eponymous cola that has been rebranded specifically for the local market.

Successfully managing global brands is said to require a mixed strategy that balances overarching ideas and a localised approach, and visual imagery and language are seen as playing a particularly important part in this process.

Pepsi has been placing a heavy emphasis on increasing its global reach in the recent past, having announced plans to make sizeable investments in fast-growing markets such as China and Russia.

After a survey in Argentina found that 24.3% of people pronounced the word "Pepsi" as "Pecsi", which more closely fits with Spanish phonetics, the company decided to sell a rebranded variant of the product as part of its latest marketing push.

This strategy aimed to build on its previous advertising platform, which was based around the idea that shoppers were free to "choose" to save money by buying Pepsi, which is currently around one peso cheaper than Coca-Cola.

Its new TV spots aim to take a humorous approach, arguing the brand is championing "el libre albedrio pronunciativo", or "freedom of pronunciation", and "la hermosa democracia pronunciatoria", a "democratic" way of choosing its name.

Alongside utilising a range of traditional media, the beverage manufacturer has also launched Pecsipedia, a user-generated online dictionary in the style of Wikipedia.

This site originally contained definitions of just 50 words that are popular slang or have essentially been modified from English when used in Spanish, but now has around 1,500 entries.

Similarly, the campaign has also employed a variety of other social media tools, including Twitter, the microblogging website, and YouTube.

Data sourced from AdAge; additional content by WARC staff