Monday, August 20, 2007

Disposable Branding: Pepsi's Ice Cucumber

Brand managers often think in terms of slowly building a brand, nurturing it, trying to get it to permeate the public consciousness and then protecting it at all costs. Nothing wrong with that.

But there's a growing number of experiments in the power of limited editions. Most recently, Pepsi unveiled a pale green drink in Japanese convenience stores called Pepsi Ice Cucumber.

Within weeks, all 4.8 million bottles of the "summer beverage" had sold out.

Pepsi didn't make anymore. They "kill[ed] off a product at the peak of its popularity" to quote Business Week.

It seems to me that in an age where Starbucks permeates every corner, where Wal-Mart in Scranton, PA looks chillingly like a Wal-Mart in San Fran, we're all hungry for something that's different and unique.

Pepsi spent two years developing this soda flavor and, right now, they have no plans to launch it again. But with Pepsi Ice Cucumbers selling on eBay for $4.50 a bottle, this type of fad marketing could do as much to help Pepsi's overall brand as any TV campaign could. It's also very good to have something like this for PR coverage and to generate blog buzz.

What do you think?

~Jim Tobin
Life Is Marketing