Advertisements are used to encourage, persuade or manipulate consumers to drive their behavior. Pepsi in the recent past has been facing mounting pressure from its competitors especially the Coca-Cola Company. In an attempt to retain its position in the global market as well as increase its market share, Pepsi has engaged in a number of strategies. One of its strategic plans is to woo customers through advertising. Unlike its competitor, Pepsi lacks the global network to facilitate its distribution (Furse 2011). This paper examines the effectiveness of the Pepsi advertisement in influencing customer behavior, as well as the ways in which it has achieved its goals.
Market Segmentation Variables
Market segmentation involves dividing a particular market into smaller categories of consumers who share the same needs. It involves designing ways or means of advertising that would target specific markets through the media or other methods. Segmentation enables companies to achieve product differentiation hence, enhancing their ability to reach a broader market (Bourhis, 2011). The Pepsi advertisement has achieved this by employing four main segmentation strategies which include hedonic, utilitarian, cognitive and affective appeals.
Hedonism and Utilitarianism
According to the hedonism theory, pleasure is the only factor that intrinsically influences consumers’ behavior. This strategy capitalizes on maximizing the net pleasure of the consumer in order to influence their perception of a product. By influencing consumers’ pleasure, attitudes are changed and the message is passed effectively. In the advertisement, the creator has achieved this by the use of very popular artists. The artists used in this advertisement are very famous and their presence in the advert draws great attention from the masses.
In order to woo customers and manipulate them into buying a product, the use of famous personalities is very effective. This creates an impression that the celebrities support and use the products as well. The ultimate effect of this is that the fans that idolize these celebrities will be persuaded to purchase the product. The Pepsi advert has utilized this strategy by featuring celebrities in the advert. This will definitely improve and broaden their market share since many young people idolize these artists. The strategy is to create the impression that these celebrities have gone that far and reached their success through the use of the product. Even without mentioning it, fans will always associate the success of their idols with the products they endorse.
This fact creates an opportunity for a company to broaden its market share by advertising with such individuals (Bourhis 2011). Ultimately, even the consumers who pledge allegiance to other products but hold these celebrities as their favourite musicians can be persuaded to shift their preferences. Moreover, the advertisement starts with a suspended introduction where Beyonce, Britney and Pink enter the stadium armed with weapons. Everybody is expecting these women to fight, however, they start celebrating and declaring their intention was not to fight but to entertain the crowd with Pepsi drinks.
Cognitive and Effective Appeals
Cognitive advertisement strategy aims at changing the human brain through advertising. The use of three young beautiful and successful women in the advertisement is intended to woo the consumer to believe that the use of the product has the same effect on them. Consumers are led to think that using this product gives one an energetic look and makes them feel and look younger (McDonald 2009).
This strategy is intended to change and transform the customers’ mindset in order to improve or influence their perception with regard to the product which in this case is Pepsi soft drink (Bourhis 2011). Another shift to this advertisement is the inclusion of women. This is with respect to the fact that women represent the highest population globally. By capturing the women, the market share goes up by a significant margin since women will be wooed to emulate their fellow successful women to achieve what they have achieved (McDonald 2009).
Relationships between Appeals and Segmentation
The advert has explicitly gone all the way to appeal to the consumer and make the product look attractive and desirable. There are a number of ways that this effect can be achieved and the advert has utilized a number of them. First of all, in the advert, there is a clear display of class and high living standards. This aspect of displaying the product in an expensive way enables it to attract a class. Many people purchase products that they feel will attach them to a particular class. Sex has also been used to woo customers and draw their attention to the product. The women in the advert are dressed in slightly sexually explicit clothing. With their appealing looks, they attract the audience and hence increase the chances of creating awareness and ultimately broadening the use of the product (McDonald 2009).
The use of women is emphasized in this advert and this can have a negative turn on the use of the product. Although the women population is higher than men, the male gender has a great influence on what the women use. The prominence of women in the advert can make the product seem irrelevant to men and be regarded as a feminine product. It is very tragic to have a product labeled as a single-gender-oriented product because that eliminates its demand on the opposite gender (Furse 2011).
We can raise ethical concerns with the fact that the advert is presented in a way that seems to encourage violence. With the support from the crowd’s applause, the advert can be perceived to be supportive of violence which makes it a preserve for the adults who can be able to understand the real meaning of the events taking place. Another segment of the market is therefore cut out of the target. The advert will also face some religious disapproval for using sexually explicit graphics of half-naked women. Families and parents will also have a problem with the advert and consequently, the product’s market will be ruined.
Advertisements play a major role in motivating and persuading consumers to buy a product or a service. Sometimes this is not achieved or can be achieved beyond the expectations of a company depending on how the advertisement is prepared and perceived by consumers. This means that it can be a success or a failure depending on the techniques used to prepare it and to convey it to consumers. Investors have used different methods to appeal to different aspects of consumer behaviors and persuade them to prefer one product to another in the market. Pepsi is an example of a company that has tried to regain consumer confidence through advertising.
Bourhis, R 2011, Effective Advertising: Understanding When, How, and Why Advertising Works (Marketing for a New Century), Berrett-Koehler Publishing, California.
Furse, D 2011, Effective Television Advertising: A Study of 1000 Commercials (Marketing Science Institute Series), Lexington Books, Boston.
McDonald, C 2009, Advertising Reach and Frequency: Maximizing Advertising Results through Effective Frequency, NTC Business Books, New York.