Pepsi’s lethal “Quantity Fever” marketing campaign | Boing Boing

Pepsi's deadly "Number Fever" campaign | Boing Boing


Within the Nineteen Nineties Pepsi ran a promotion within the Philippines that gave folks the prospect to win money prizes if the three-digit quantity printed on the within of a Pepsi bottle cap matched the quantity introduced on nationwide tv. The marketing campaign resulted in a large enhance in Pepsi gross sales, and it is estimated that half the folks within the Philippines participated.

Hysteria over the sport led to “homicide within the streets,” says author Jeff Maysh, who wrote the function article in Bloomberg, “Number Fever: The Pepsi Contest That Became a Deadly Fiasco.”

Quantity Fever flew off the rails when “349” was introduced on TV because the profitable quantity. The issue was that 349 had been beforehand declared a nonwinning quantity earlier within the marketing campaign. Tons of of 1000’s of 349 bottle caps have been floating round (Pepsi had printed over 600,000), and so numerous folks assumed they’d all of the sudden change into millionaires. Pepsi refused to honor the prizes and other people rioted, leading to deaths and accidents.

From Maysh’s piece:

And the chaos continued. Protesters in Quezon Metropolis burned tires. Speculators provided wads of money for 349s in hopes of a much bigger payoff later. Even police weren’t proof against the frenzy. One Nationwide Bureau of Investigation (NBI) officer arrived on the Quezon Metropolis plant with an empty attaché case to hold dwelling his million pesos. “Pepsi both pays,” he informed a reporter, “or they shut down.”

As days was weeks after which months, some 10,000 claimants filed fits demanding cash. Molotov cocktails crashed into Pepsi factories and dozens of supply vehicles, their drivers dousing the flames with 7 Up. The Pepsi-Cola Hotshots basketball crew modified its identify to the 7-Up Uncolas. Executives started touring with bodyguards, and the corporate moved American staff overseas, save for one who’d labored in Beirut. “We have been consuming dying threats for breakfast,” Vera, the advertising director, later informed a reporter. At a riot in Manila, a 64-year-old protester named Paciencia Salem, whose husband had died of coronary heart failure throughout a march, informed a journalist, “Even when I die right here, my ghost will come to struggle Pepsi.”



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