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Advertising analysis – Pepsi

July 28, 2012

Pepsi is one of the most competitive carbonated beverage makers. Then where do their thinking hats go when its time for daring, creative concepts?

The campaign started with a teaser called ‘Ye Pepsi Kis Ki Hogi?’ which shows a quarrel between two stalwarts of Pakistan - Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq over a bottle of Pepsi. Cricket fans fanatically voted over this on various online forums. Apparently, a number of fans believed that it was actually a fight over captaincy, which is projected as a Pepsi bottle in the commercial.

Apart from the fact that the commercial was a shoddy remake of a rather intelligently-shot film, its communication was also meaningless.

Soft drinks are not exactly referred to as items of necessity. People can live without them. But strangely, while being stranded on an island, hunting for food and trying to make it through each day, the most important thing for Misbah and Afridi was the lone bottle of Pepsi. How has that bottle even survived through the years is beyond my imagination.

And just when we thought we’d finally find out who the champ out of the two is, quite surprisingly the result disappointed most of us. The question that Afridi asks in the end, ‘Yeh kahan se aagai?’ is exactly what we’re all also wondering. On an isolated island in the middle of nowhere, how did a woman show up all decked up? Not that futile communication where woman are used as product of sale should be of any surprise to Pakistani viewers but this time around we’ve actually all failed to answer the question. Yeh waqai kahan se aagai? And what is more surprising is how her appearance left the two men helpless.

And if a woman could so conveniently show up on the island, how could the two men not find their way out of the trap? Are they really this incompetent?

Unfortunately, the ambiguity doesn’t end here. As far as communication is concerned the entire concept shatters on one major point. At the end of the commercial, the message Pepsi put across is that "Duniya hai dil walon ki" and as far as we understand in our language, "dil wale" means those who are respectable and generous with a kind heart. And If these are indeed the traits of the Pepsi consumers, then why didn’t they just share the bottle?


The writer is a New Media Design Manager at Dawn.com