Humanity, Imagination, and Truth: Pepsico’s H-I-T Factor


I just got back from ad:tech New York and as I reflect on the two-day conference, the presentation that really sticks in my head is the opening keynote delivered by Frank Cooper, CMO of Global Consumer Engagement at Pepsico. His keynote address on a snowy Tuesday morning really livened the spirits of the crowd. His message was simple but universal – when creating a marketing initiative, make sure it’s a H-I-T.

So what makes a campaign a H-I-T?

  1. First stop, humanity – what Cooper described as the personal identity we use to connect with each other as people. The innate humanness in us that drives us to be empathetic and philanthropic. Having a human element to a campaign taps into our natural drive to help one another and work together.
  2. Part two, imagination – the aspects of a campaign that harness creativity and problem solving. There has to be something original about a campaign that makes it stand out among the thousands of cues we have to sift through in consumer society.
  3.  Finally, truth – having palpable transparency in our communications with others. Being straightforward and trustworthy in the way that we share information with our audience makes the consumer feel comfortable with a brand, like a friend or advisor.

It takes all of these elements to create communications with the H-I-T factor, a quality which allows a brand to become part of greater popular culture and ingrained into the day-to-day lives of our audience

So, how can your company encourage H-I-T campaigns from its team? Get ready, we have three more takeaways.

  1. Shift your cultural behavior to a creative life – Cooper encouraged the audience to take the time to “waste time.” Read a book for fun. Take a walk. Paint a wall. Have a few seconds when you aren’t concerned about the problem to allow yourself to find creative ways to solve it
  2. Restructure relationships – both internally and outside one’s companies. Foster a spirit of sharing and collaboration and encourage an environment filled with a diverse group of people and ideas.
  3. Pursue truth. Marketers spend all day helping sales teams sell. Ensuring that the information we put out into the world is truthful is critical. Take a step back from your messaging – look at it as if your brand were on the outside.

Not a shabby philosophy – in fact, these three essentials can be easily translated to one’s day to day life. I enjoyed Cooper’s presentation – his examples, using clips from  the film “Inception” (a little Leo never hurt anyone) and the example of Pepsi’s DEWmocracy campaign highlighted the three key elements of H-I-T.

Watch Frank Cooper’s keynote>>

Halley Sheffield

Halley Sheffield is the Director of Marketing at 451 Marketing @halleyalice

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