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Crisis Management Speech for PepsiCo

PepsiCo enhances diversity and inclusion by creating a culture of respect and trust

By Adriana Brunetti

On April 4, 2016, the PepsiCo team launched its new commercial, Live For The Now
Moments, featuring supermodel Kendall Jenner. Our intent was to create a global message of
peace, unity, and understanding. However, rather than having our originally expected outcome of
positive feedback, we saw widespread, instant negativity, backlash, and controversy.

PepsiCo sincerely apologizes for any hurt feelings or misunderstandings caused as a result of this
commercial. We also owes an apology to Kendall Jenner for the embarrassment that this
commercial has put her through and the damage it has done to her image. We did not take into
consideration the actual struggles that many minorities in todays America face. Our marketing
message that a can of Pepsi could resolve a riot was insensitive and unrealistic. We meant no
harm in this. Not only do we apologize for all of the hurt that was endured, but we apologize for
not knowing better. It was never our intention to hurt our consumers or our spokesperson

We echo what our Chairman and CEO Indra K. Nooyi told the Fortune Magazine: "This has
pained me a lot because this company is known for diversity, and the fact that everybody who
produced the commercial and approved the commercial did not link it to Black Lives Matter
made me scratch my head. I had not seen that scene. And I take everything personally. The
minute I saw people upset, I pulled it, and you know what, its not worth it. There were people
on both sides, but at the end of the day, our goal is not to offend anybody."

As indicated in our Performance with Purpose initiative, PepsiCo is highly committed to strict
ethics and a sense of integrity. At the moment, we may not live up to our own standards, but we
are human, and we make mistakes too. Acknowledging that we are wrong in this situation proves
that we care about not only the consumers morals and ethics, but our own as well. We hereby
review our values and Global Code of Conduct:

1) Care for our customers, our consumers and the world we live in.
2) Sell only products we can be proud of.
3) Speak with truth and candor.
4) Win with diversity and engagement.
5) Balance the short-term and long-term.
6) Respect others and succeed together.

As mentioned above, we care for our customers and consumers; without their trust and respect
we would not be the company that we are today. So knowing we broke that trust from them is
Crisis Management Speech for PepsiCo

heartbreaking. We know that we have disappointed our customers and consumers, which makes
us disappointed in ourselves.

PepsiCo is proud to be known as a diverse company. Making anyone feel disrespected in any
way was our very last intention.

With that being said, PepsiCo promises to be more careful and mindful of our commercials and
other marketing efforts. We are fully aware of the problems that are going on this world and
want to be part of the change.

Creative Brief

My crisis management speech was prepared for the PepsiCo commercial Live For The Now
Moments that was pulled within twenty four hours due to the amount of negativity and instant
hate that the commercial received. This commercial was supposed to promote unity, peace, and
understanding, but the majority of consumers perceived it as a mockery of the Black Lives
Matter movement amongst so many other controversial issues that the world is dealing with

The message that I wanted to send to the consumers was, first and foremost, a sincere apology
from the brand dealing with this crisis - an apology to the consumers for making them feel the
way that they felt. This also acted as an apology for Kendall Jenner and all of the hardships she
has went through. But more importantly, I wanted this CM speech to accurately show the
consumers the brands strict ethics and morals, and what the commercial portrayed is not who
PepsiCo actually is. I wanted the consumers to know that even though this crisis happened, that a
mistake was made, they still can trust, love, and respect PepsiCo.

This message relates to the operation of the brand, because it shows that PepsiCo can take
responsibility for their own actions, and that it was nobody else's fault but PepsiCo itself. That
statement clarifies to the consumer that if responsibility can be taken and action is shown that the
company cares about the consumers and how they feel about the situation; which then relates to
the reputation of the brand. PepsiCos revenues did take a hit from this crisis, but they recovered
relatively well from it due to the haste actions that were taken to make the situation better. That
is why PepsiCo's reputation was not as damaged as it could've been, had the commercial
circulated for a longer time period.

I want the public, when they listen to this CM speech, to perceive PepsiCo as a caring,
thoughtful, and sincere brand who cares about the consumer and made an honest mistake. This
CMS shows the consumers that they are sorry for their actions and their goal was never to hurt
anyone. The most important thing that I wanted people to understand through my CM speech is
to learn to trust Pepsi again, because without trust a company cannot succeed.
Crisis Management Speech for PepsiCo

This crisis was very difficult for Pepsi because this was their first huge crisis case for the
company. So trying to figure out a way how this situation can have a positive light and turn into
opportunities can be a struggle. But in my perspective the way that PepsiCo could turn this
situation and have it turn into opportunities is by learning from their mistakes. By this situation
happening it prevents further situation that could occur or could be worse. But this gives Pepsi
the opportunity to grow from the situation.

This speech was helped prepared by integrated marketing by using the contexts of using the
basic types of integrations horizontal, vertical, internal, and external. For this speech using
horizontal was easy because the plan was to come up with a way to strategize the most
effectively for this speech so our consumers would hear and listen to Pepsi. Internally it helped
this speech because without the enthusiasm of wanting to fix this situation and problem there
would not be a CMS speech that actually meant something more than just an Im sorry.
Vertically Pepsi is reminding in this CMS that what the commercial portrayed was not the moral
and ethics of the company, this type of integration shows in the CMS that the whole team of
Pepsi wants to find a way to make this right for the company but mostly the consumers.
Externally was the process where everyone was on the same page, everyone in the company felt
the same way and wanted to make the situation as best as it could possibly be.

The audience that would be most effective to deliver this speech is to the youths of this
degeneration mostly targeting diverse men and women of the age range of 21-30. I say that age
range because that is the age of people that are truly and deeply into Black Lives Matter
groups and all of the other diverse groups that we have in this world. When this whole situation
occurred Pepsi was being blamed on them referring to those kind of groups and with speaking
directly towards that group it can show that group that what message that people portrayed in the
commercial is not how Pepsi feels or even thinks.

Crisis Management Speech for PepsiCo

Kowitt, B. (2017, September 21). PepsiCos CEO opens up about Trump, Amazon,

and that Kendall Jenner ad. Fortune. Retrieved December 6, 2017 from


Taylor, K. (2017, September 21). PepsiCo defends Kendall Jenner ad. Business

Insider. Retrieved December 6, 2017 from http://www.businessinsider.com/pepsi-


De Elizabeth. (2017, April 4). Why people are not happy about Kendall Jenner's Pepsi

commercial. Teen Vogue. Retrieved December 6, 2017 from


Quenqua, D. (2017, April 5). Pepsi says sorry and removes Kendall Jenner Ad from web.

PR Week. Retrieved December 6, 2017 from


Crisis Management Speech for PepsiCo

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