The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

This marketing fad flops soon I hope

Yesterday we learned that Tide needs your help!

In this evening’s inbox, I am implored by Pepsico to lend a hand.

Pepsi needs help

Do people get paid to come up with this stuff? I’ve got a whole bushel full of bad ideas you can have for half price.

Note: The survey link in this email compromises your personal data, including your email address. See comments 2 and 3.


Written by Tom Fox

05/30/2008 at 11:11 pm

5 Responses

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  1. What they are doing is not a fad, it’s segmentation. How they are going about getting people to self-segment themselves is what is getting a bit old.

    Tim Rueb

    05/30/2008 at 11:20 pm

  2. I get your point, Tim, and it’s a good one. I was remarking more about the email’s hook that Pepsico “needs [my] help.”

    Of all the events and circumstances in the world today, both personal and public, that might actually benefit from my help and attention, Pepsico isn’t anywhere in the top 10 or 20 thousand.

    I did take a closer look at the email and discovered that the “Take Survey” link contained my email address, my gender and my state of residence in an unencrypted format. Any idiot with a packet sniffer could grab that information when I to clicked the link. Even a greenhorn programmer like myself knows that’s not the way you should do such things.

    So, we can speculate about what it looks like Pepsico is doing, or what it thinks it is doing with this email, but what it is actually doing is to piss me off.

    Generally regarded as bad marketing practice.


    05/31/2008 at 12:46 pm

  3. Oh, I also discovered that Pepsico immediately redirects the link, including my email address, gender, and state of residence – publicly and unencrypted, to the outside agency

    The claim of “confidentiality” is bogus.


    05/31/2008 at 1:26 pm

  4. Wow, what a great reason to drop them completely from your list of approved brands to purchase or recommend. Pepsi Co. should pay for that. They have abused the relationship, they have assumed a level of intimacy that did not exist, and used a method that violates your privacy at the same time. How disgraceful!

    That’s not a fad, that is irresponsibility.

    Tim Rueb

    05/31/2008 at 2:36 pm

  5. Well, that’s the theory, I suppose. The reality is a bit different. My perception of Pepsico, the company, is fairly distinct from my perception of its products, or my buying habits.

    In my life, She Who Must be Obeyed is a total Diet Pepsi junkie, and no amount of stupid emails from Pepsico to me will give me enough leverage or influence to change that. Maybe if Pepsico gave $10 million to the First Church of Satan she might switch to Diet Coke in protest, but I don’t see it happening otherwise.

    So, when the time comes that I grow weary of hitting the delete button, my minor revenge will be to unsubscribe from Pepsico’s email list, and that’s about it.

    I’m not surprised or outraged when big consumer product companies try to con and manipulate me. I rather expect it, and I take it as object lessons in how not to do business.

    Besides, nobody . . . and I mean nobody . . . has ever turn to me and said, “Gee, Tom, I’m thirsty. What do you recommend that I drink?”


    06/01/2008 at 12:32 pm

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