When Pepsico Lay’s first launched a thank-you campaign called #Heartwork in early June, to celebrate the efforts of farmers, factory workers, truck drivers, distributors, sales force, retailers, and delivery executive, it made sense.
Their TVC, though, seemed more focused on showcasing the Lay’s brand (understandably) than all those people.
So, Lay’s is going on a thank-you spree by naming and tagging brands like BigBasket, MilkBasket, Taco Bell, Social Samosa, JK Tyre, Burger King, Vistara, KFC, Pizza Hut, Spotify, KIA, Ariel, Myntra, Grofers, Urban Company, ABP News, Britannia Good Day, MobiKwik, Whisper, Flipkart, Swiggy, Cadbury, Dunzo and Zomato.
Digression: PepsiCo’s senior director and category head (foods) has been quoted including Tide in the list, in their PR note (replicated in most publications), though I think the tie-ups team got rival Ariel in the final tally, and not Tide. Digression ends.
The original idea made sense and is in line with what many other brands are doing – thanking the people who are on the ground working, to help the rest of us stay at home safely.
Dunzo did this during the lockdown and even named other brands like Zomato, Swiggy, CultFit among others. More on this: We have a new set of heroes to celebrate.
But Pepsi’s extension, of thanking brands, seems like an effort to garner social conversation between brands, more than the original intent of thanking, “farmers, factory workers, truck drivers, distributors, sales force, retailers, and delivery executives”.
Sure, some of the thanking is on the point – thanking Flipkart is, in a way, thanking the people who make the deliveries happen, but the same cannot be said about say Ariel, or JK Tyre. Or for that matter Spotify or Cadbury. What is Lay’s thanking Spotify for?
This one brand thanking another for merely existing because we have all suddenly come to appreciate the little things in life owing to the lockdown is very different in intent from the campaign’s first phase which was about thanking those people that keep things running to help the rest stay at home.
In principle, thanking anyone, or any brand, by another brand, is a great idea and very welcome in these days of strife, border issues and general fear and paranoia. But the way it is framed, or quoted in the press makes it seem rather stretched.
More importantly, piggybacking on “farmers, factory workers, truck drivers, distributors, sales force, retailers, and delivery executives” to indulge in this brand-to-brand conversation online seems a bit disingenuous. Thanking Cadbury for being Cadbury and bringing sweetness to our lives is a very different campaign, far removed from what was explored in Phase 1.
The result, when you look at brands that do not fit into the original campaign’s theme, looks like an engineered attempt at social media conversation using brand slogans and phrases made popular by the brands’ advertising.
I just wish Lay’s had not mixed both campaigns under the same umbrella of #Heartwork. Or, at least chosen the brands appropriately without deviating from what they had rightly intended in Phase 1.