lunes, 30 de mayo de 2016

The Corporate Stupidity Files: Pepsi uses racism and sexy models to sell junk food... that causes obesity

By Victor Hernandez

So now Pepsi is peddling junk food in Mexico with bikini clad models. Which is another very evident case of corporate stupidity because, number one, sex doesn't sell (I'll get into that later on), and number two, it's incredibly offensive to the intelligence of people to be shown a bikini clad model pretending to eat junk food instead of an obese woman (or an obese man), the way people actually end up looking like when they eat junk food.

I say this because Mexican junk food brand Sabritas, which is owned by Frito-Lay, in turn owned by Pepsi, has been using ads like this one all over Mexico for YEARS, using, both, male and female models:

Here's a closeup:

Now, let me be clear: I'm not against using sex in advertising. I just plain don't care either way. I do not subscribe to the idea that women and men in 2016 can be objectified. As a third wave feminist I believe women and men should be equals and both should be able to pose nude, in a bikini, or however the hell they want if they choose to do so.

Thus, I don't mind if Pepsi uses a model in a bikini to sell their disgusting cheese and onion Ruffles potato chips, as they have done all over Mexico, and in particular in this ad at the corner of Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas and Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, two of the busiest avenues in Mexico City.

Similar ads were placed at Metrobus public transport stations. In order words, the ads are intended for the lower income to low middle income demographic.

The problem I have with that is this: the people in Mexico who eat junk food don't look like the bikini models Pepsi uses in their ads. They look more like this:

Which, by the way, it also means Pepsi's advertising is racist, as they never show people with indigenous features and dark skin. Their models for the junk food in Mexico tends to show people with European features. Apparently for the world of advertising, only Spaniards -who are EUROPEANS- are "Latinos," even though there are many more people with indigenous features than people with European feautures in all of the Spanish speaking countries.

So Pepsi no only uses racist advertising to peddle junk food in Mexico, but they do so in a way that seems to suggest eating their junk food will not cause obesity.

But the opposite is actually the case in Mexico. Obesity rates in Mexico have been going up because of an increase in consumption of junk food. Particularly among the poorest people in Mexico, who are the target of Pepsi's advertising.

The problem is so severe that a few years ago the Mexican Congress passed legislation banning the selling of junk food in schools.

And yet, Pepsi keeps on peddling their junk food with ads such as this one:

What the fuck?

Now, as I said at the beginning, sex doesn't even sell. Sex in advertising is a waste of time and money strictly in terms of return on investment (ROI). I say this because there already are studies showing that sex doesn't sell. If you show sex, or a bikini model in an ad, people will remember the sex or the model, but not the product. Read Martin Lidstrom's books Buyology and Brandwashed, about the various tricks to peddle stuff in advertising and you will find I'm telling you the truth.

Why the FUCK Pepsi keeps in using bikini models to sell their crap?

Probably because some corporate idiot at Sabritas thinks the ads work because they are selling a lot of junk food.

The problem is, Pepsi has a near monopoly on potato chip and similar junk food in Mexico, so their crap will sell whether or not it has ads and regardless of the kind of ads it has.

I say this because according to a 2014 article by El Universal newspaper, Pepsi's nearest competitor for potato chips, Barcel, property of Bimbo bread, has only 17% of the market in Mexico, against 66.1% of the market owned by Sabritas. The the other 16.9% is owned by several smaller brands.

But wait! There's less junk food sold by volume (millions of tons) in Mexico from 2009 to 2013, ever since Congress passed the law banning junk food in schools. But guess what? from 2009 to 2013 the actual sales in billions of pesos (or hundreds of millions of dollars) nearly doubled from 32.9 billions to 62.7 billions.

And that's not all. The junk food industry's monitors projected a whopping 4.199 billion dollar revenue in Mexico for 2017.

So here's the rub: even though the consumption of junk food in Mexico has decreased slightly since junk food was outlawed in schools (and then taxes were raised on junk food in 2014), Pepsi ain't losing money.

They're not losing money because now they sell smaller packages at higher prices. They also don't lose money because they have almost 66 PERCENT OF THE FUCKING MARKET. And they don't lose money because they peddle all sort of crap in their packaging, such as free crap from Burger King, which in turns sells Pepsi sodas.

So why the FUCK does Pepsi think they actually need to peddle their crap with a girl in a bikini when they don't need to mislead buyers into eating their shitty chips. They'll buy them because they are fucking EVERYWHERE in Mexico and there's little else in terms choice for snacks.

Unless, of course, Pepsi corporate suits are not only stupid but also just plain evil, thinking that if they tell people they will look like a model in a bikini if they eat junk food, people will no longer think it's a cause for obesity.

I'd like to think Pepsi executives are just plain stupid when it comes to their decisions on advertising in Mexico. Because if I'm wrong, and their problem is not stupidity, but plain old evil, the United States should say something about it. Because in the future, when people in Mexico realize an American corporation made them sick with obesity, they're not going to be very friendly to American corporations in general. Specially if, as all the polls indicate, the next Mexican president is a leftist pretty much in tune with Bernie Sanders.

PS: The fact that Sabritas uses the phrase "don't resist" ("no the resistas") and "nobody can resist" ("nadie se resiste") is creepy. Sounds like something out of a George Orwell novel. See why I say this is a case of corporate stupidity?

PS2: No, brown hair doesn't make you Mexican or "Latino." And even though, there are lots of people in Mexico with brown and black hair, the are also millions of Mexicans with indigenous features and they never make it into ad campaigns, not into telenovelas, unless they take minor roles as maids and butlers. Yes, Mexican telenovelas are also racist.

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