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Celebrating mispronunciation

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  • Pepsi Pepsi becomes Pecsi Pepsi Thumbnail
  • Pepsi Pepsi becomes Pesci
  • Pepsi TV ad
  • Pepsi Pecsipedia
  • Pepsi Dancing can

In Argentina, the brand name Pepsi is largely mispronounced because the "ps" sound in the second syllable is very difficult to pronounce. As a result, around 25% of the Spanish population in Argentina ask for a "Pecsi" instead of a Pepsi.

Rather than trying to change the consumer, Pepsi's agency proposed to change the brand name within its campaign. In what they called the first "democratic pronunciation of a brand", Pecsi was born.

Pepsi packaging was changed to read "Pecsi" and the new brand name was publicized on TV, outdoor and in bars and restaurants. It also created a "Pecsipedia" - site filled with proposed new spellings for a range of often-mispronounced words, or other linguistic inventions - particularly for English brands that are hard to say in Spanish. So Twitter becomes "Tuiter" and YouTube becomes "Iutú" Visitors could vote on their favourites or submit their own. There was an augmented reality application to allow anyone hold a dancing Pecsi can if they wanted. For those without webcams, they could make a can on the website dance in different styles to different soundtracks.

As a result, brand preference went up by 10 points compared with 2008, brand recognition increased by 23% over the average for the category. There were more than 160,000 visits to the brand site in four weeks and 4000 Facebook fans.

Olivia Solon - 16/12/2009

Instead of trying to “educate” the market towards the official pronunciation of the brand, Pepsi takes the bold move of recognising that Argentines find its brand name is hard to pronounce and embracing the quirky enunciation in its marketing.

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Brand Owner:
Drinks (non-alcoholic)
Media Channel:
Direct Marketing,Digital,Online,Out-of-Home,PR,TV
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