PepsiCo To Stop Advertising On Linear TV

PepsiCo To Stop Advertising On Linear TV

The soft drinks and snacks giant will completely pull its spend on linear TV to focus more on digital, earned media and other channels where its consumers show up, PepsiCo ANZ marketing boss Vandita Pandey told B&T.

PepsiCo will completely cut advertising on linear TV this year to focus its media spend on channels used by its consumers, B&T has learned.

The FMCG company has been re-focusing its media investment into digital channels for several years now, with digital now accounting for the majority of media spend.

PepsiCo ANZ chief marketing officer of beverages and snacks, Vandita Pandey, recently told B&T a decision to move away from linear TV had already received the support of local CEO Kyle Faulconer.

“There aren’t a tonne of brands who have fully pulled out of linear TV ads, but we are already close to 85-90 per cent digital, and there are a lot of screens in that digital mix,” she said.

“It has taken us a few years to get to this decision, but we have gone from five, six or seven brands on TV and reducing them year by year. We think that from an attention standpoint, how much attention are we receiving in these ad breaks… we have decided to shift to different types of screens.”

Pandey said she realises the value of TV as “one of our largest reach driving vehicles”, and the important role it can play to drive brand salience, but believes switching off linear TV is the “right decision for our portfolio”.

The call had not only received the backing of colleagues, but also PepsiCo’s media agency, PHD Media. PepsiCo also works with agency partners Special Group and VaynerMedia.

Pepsi has produced several iconic TV ads over the years, including this one starring Britney Spears, Beyonce and Pink.

PepsiCo’s pivot towards digital and social media is not unusual in the FMCG category. Rival Coca-Cola recently indicated it has moved towards a majority (60 per cent) of digital activity.

Pandey said that PepsiCo is also looking for more creative ways to engage with consumers, including through earned media.

Some of the recent work she highlights was a Doritos coriander-flavoured packet of crisps that turned heads and received a lot of hype last year. There was also a Twisties scented candle release towards the end of last year.

PepsiCo has also worked with Innocent Bystander wines to create bespoke chip and wine pairings with ads featuring the ‘Chippelier’.

The company has also lifted its data game, launching a customer loyalty and rewards app called SnackBack to target consumers with personalised promotions and value at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet.   

A PepsiCo veteran of nearly 15 years, Pandey moved from the US to Australia to head up its marketing function in 2020. She heads up a portfolio that includes brands such as Doritos, Cheetos, Red Rock Deli, Twisties, Nobby’s, Smith’s Chips, Pepsi, Gatorade, 7Up and Mountain Dew.

Under her watch PepsiCo’s media mix has shifted from being heavily TV-led to digital first, and with a sharper focus on comms and content.

“PepsiCo has done an awesome job in the last five to seven years of really elevating the role of marketing as a function,” she said. “And we call this part of the business the growth architects and the smile generators of the portfolio.”

Pandey made this year’s B&T CMO Power List.

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