Pepsi-Lipton Brisk Case Study


Purpose: Statement of the problem

The purpose of this analysis is to outline the advertising strategyfor the Pepsi-Lipton Brisk Iced Tea that meets the expectedrebranding and target consumers and offers a competitive advantageover other Ready-to-Drink tea brands.

Background/Situation Analysis

The Lipton Brisk Iced Tea is a cold tea beverage which is ready todrink non-carbonated beverage. Launched by PLP in the 1990s, BriskIced Tea had grown into different flavors namely lemon, tea-lemonstrawberry melon raspberry peach and sweet tea (Teixeira &ampCaverly, 2012). The iced tea came in one litter bottles and retailedat $0.99.PLP had other brands including Lipton and Pure leaf butneeded to campaign for the Brisk tea which was popular with the youngMillennials.PLP partnered with PepsiCo on a 50-50 basis to rebrandand popularize the Brisk Iced Tea brand in 1991. PLP needed to takeadvantage of PepsiCo’s large market in the world, being the secondlargest food and Beverage Company after Coca-Cola. It also needed thebottling and distribution strength of PepsiCo. PepsiCo would in turnbenefit from the health-conscious products of PLP which couldcomplement their brands of beverages such as Mountain Dew withoutunnecessary costs on research and development.

PepsiCo and PLP needed to popularize this brand to look appealing,edgy and “cool” to the young people who needed an alternative forcold carbonated drinks. Young people needed a drink which they couldclaim their self-expression. Brisk brand was the right choice forthem.Based on the competitive market of ready to drink iced teabrands, PLP faced stiff competition from Arizona, Coca-Cola, Snappleand SoBe(Teixeira &amp Caverly, 2012).

As of 2010, Brisk Tea sales were growing well but the brand’sfooting in the Ready-to-Drink market was dwindling behind itscompetitors. These competitors had built stronger social mediapresence and stronger campaigns for the brands. Arizona, forinstance, ran many popular contests on social media like Facebook andhad more than 250 times the following and likes than BriskTea(Teixeira &amp Caverly, 2012). Arizona had more influence insocial media and with young people who factored Arizona brands morefavorably than Brisk. Many people identified Arizona brands as Cheap,tasty, delicious and sweet tea, while they identified brisk asartificial and sugary.

PepsiCo and PLP needed to advertise and rebrand their brand to createa better identity for the Brisk Tea. They needed to focus more on thebrand identity rather than health benefits of tea. Main campaigns forBrisk Tea were based on attitude-based brand appeal. The campaignsfocused on making Brisk Tea to fit into the millennial population ascool and edgy. First major advertisement campaigns rolled out in 1996were television-ads and print ads which used celebrities andclay-based animations to market the brand. TV commercials usedcelebrity characters like Bruce Willis, Bruce Lee, Coolio and RockyBalboa(Teixeira &amp Caverly, 2012). One of the major breakthroughsfor Brisk Iced Tea was the, “That’s Brisk, Baby” tagline whichpopularized the brand in the ‘90s.

PepsiCo and PLP hired Mekanism Company, an advertising agency onSeptember 2010, to push for their desired outcome for Brisk Iced Tea(Teixeira &amp Caverly, 2012). PepsiCo needed an advertisementstrategy that would either stick to their traditional TV ads or anonline ‘viral’ advertising. Mekanism was the better optionbecause they offered all the services in one shop. They had anintegrated creative ideas department, production department,promotion department and distribution department which cut off theneed to hire separate agencies.

Discussion of Alternatives

Mekanism needed to create an advertisement strategy that couldrebrand the Brisk Tea product and popularize the product to targetcustomers through social media. Initial advertisements strategiesemployed by PepsiCo included Superbowl ads, one of the most watchedsports show in America TV ads and print ads (Teixeira&amp Caverly,2012). These strategies were very expensive and needed a lot of fundsto roll out. Mekanism had to come up with a cheaper strategy whichwas within the $12.5 million budget. Superbowl had become veryexpensive costing about $23 million. PepsiCo’s aim was toreintroduce Brisk Brand to the Millennials and Hispanics and to lurecustomers from competing brands like Arizona to switch to Brisk.

Using viral advertising would be a good alternative to TV and Printadvertisements. One main advantage of online viral advertising is itscost effectiveness. Use of unpaid exposure through posting adverts onsocial media sites like twitter, Facebook and You Tube reduces thecost significantly (Teixeira &amp Caverly, 2012). The only costwould be to hire influencers to post these adverts. Once the Briskadvert is posted in the form of video games or other entertainmentmodes, it would spread quickly (virally) to other people promotingBrisk, at a lower cost than the TV and Print ads. TV adverts are veryexpensive and reached limited number of people since as many as 50 %of viewers tended to skip the ads when watching.

Another advantage is that people pay more attention, make goodopinions and watch postings made by their acquaintances rather thanthose posted by advertisers on TV and print media. The multitaskingnature of TV users is an added advantage too. Many people watch TVand use the internet on their phones and laptops simultaneously(Teixeira &amp Caverly, 2012). This multitasking can drive moreviewership for the adverts translating to higher sales.

Increasing the fan base in social networks like Facebook and YouTube would create a big online presence which would surpass thecompetitors’ presence. The major setback of viral advertisement isuncertainty of the number of viewers reached and unpredictability onthe online content that people widely viewed and shared. This can beaddressed through content creation, content syndication and“virality” engineering by use of online influencers.

Another strategy that could be used is to win the male customers tolike Brisk. Statistically, brisk having a natural male personalitymeans that more females will be lured to like the product unlike thevice versa (Teixeira &amp Caverly, 2012). Focusing on the malecustomers would win the rest of the female population into liking theproduct. The newly formed customers would be encouraged to use wordof mouth buzz to advertise to their friends and acquaintances.Ultimately, this would reflect into more sales.

Taking advantage of the millennial population would be anotheralternative. Many Millennials who are young and lively use theinternet very much and are well equipped with general knowledge.Although they might have been young to see the initial Brisk Teaadverts in the ‘90s, they may have watched in You Tube(Teixeira &ampCaverly, 2012). Through syndication approach in viral advertisement,key millennial influencers can be identified. These influencers canthen be paid to reach as much audience as possible especially themale audience. These online adverts could capitalize on the featuresthat the millennial population prefers such as entertainment, humorand interactivity.

Use of popular celebrities, animation films, video games, musicvideos and creative art can be used to tell stories that areappealing to the younger generation. Creating a Brisk brand thatappear in the form of these appealing modes and product packagingthat appeal to the younger generation would increase the popularityand sales of Brisk. Younger people tend to share what they aredrinking with their friends and this would be a good way to marketBrisk.

Recommendations and Rationale

  • Adopting online “viral” advertising to reach more audience at negligible cost. Use of unpaid exposure through posting adverts on social media sites like twitter, Facebook and You Tube reduces the cost significantly. People also pay more attention, make good opinions and watch postings made by their acquaintances more than those posted by advertisers. Utilizing the initial advertisement campaigns characters can be adopted in the online advertisements such as, “That’s Brisk, Baby” and other clay-based characters.

  • Target the millennial population through syndication approach in viral advertisement, using key millennial influencers in social media. Capitalizing on the features that the millennial population prefers such as entertainment, humor and interactivity by using popular celebrities, animation films, video games, music videos and creative art can be used to tell Brisk Tea stories that are appealing to the younger generation.

  • Increasing the fan base in social networks to create significant online presence such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

  • Winning the male customers to like Brisk (which has a natural male personality) to lure more females customers into liking the product.

  • Rebranding and repackaging the Brisk Tea bottles to appeal to the potential and existing customers.

Action Plan/Next Steps

Kick start the online “viral” advertising by choosing credibleinfluencers especially those appealing to the millennial populationat a considerable cost. Engage with the influencers and analyze theireffectiveness in the campaign.

Categorize on the millennial population by creating ads and onlinetraffic that appeal to them through entertainment, humor andinteractivity. Celebrity and animated video games can be used. Reachout to the male population and get them to like the product. Interactwith them on social media and let them share their content with theirfriends especially the females.

Set adequate amount of funds to carry out the advertisement process.Although viral advertising is cheap, contingency funds need to be putaside in case the initial plan doesn’t work.

Change the Brisk packaging and branding in order to appeal to morepotential audience using tangible celebrity and animated features.

Contingency Plan

PepsiCo’s contingency plan would be to stick to the originaladvertising strategy of TV ads and Print ads. Superbowl is anotheravenue to derive a lot of audience. Adopting both online viraladvertising and TV advertising would be another contingency, althoughvery expensive.


Teixeira,T. &ampCaverly., A. (2012). .HarvardBusiness School. 9512011.