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However you say it, it's still Pepsi

Logo on a can of Pepsi

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: Maybe you noticed that Pepsi sat out the Super Bowl on the sidelines this year. It decided not to buy one of those expensive ads. But it's getting plenty of media fizz in Spain and Latin America with a new ad campaign. It features a top "footballer" mispronouncing the cola's name, and making a point of it. As Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports, it's a new gambit to sell more Pepsi to Spanish speakers.


Mitchell Hartman: In the ad within an ad, an American director keeps correcting footballer Fernando Torres's pronunciation of "Pepsi":

Pepsi Ad: P-P-P-Pepsi . . . CUT! PEPSI!

The footballer gets fed up, tears that second "p" off a Pepsi poster and says in Spanish: "In our neighborhood, it's called Pesi."

Investment analyst Chuck Carnevale says the company's aiming its message at international markets where soft-drink sales are growing fastest.

Chuck Carnevale: They're trying to make their products relevant to the market, you know and the tastes of the market that they're operating in.

Pepsi's already run this campaign in Argentina, and it's got a "Pescipedia" Web site where people can contribute local pronunciations and street slang.

Harry Balzer tracks food trends at the NPD Group and says giving Spanish speakers permission to "say it their way" is smart.

Harry Balzer: It's best if you present an image that I can identify with. Let me have what I want.

So what's next?

Korean: In Korean, we say it with an "sh" -- "Pepshi."

Kuwaiti: In Kuwait, for "Pepsi" they say "Bebsi."

Cantonese: In Cantonese, we say "Bap-si."

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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