Pepsi Refresh Project

Online contest to fund ideas that make the world a better place


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About the project Edit

Pepsi launched in January 2010 the Refresh project, a grants scheme providing millions of dollars to fund good ideas, big and small, that make the world a better place. Pepsi has up to $1.3 million in Refresh grants to give out every month, ranging from $5000 through to $250,000. The social investment campaign, online at, is being presented as Pepsi’s alternative to spending on television advertising at the SuperBowl this year.

Pepsi will hold contests every month for 10 months beginning in January. The first will begin Jan. 13, when consumers will have 10 days to submit ideas "that make us think, inspire us and ignite participation," according to a report on GigaOm. Toolkits for developing an application will reportedly be made available online starting this week. Ideas will be accepted in categories including health, arts and culture, food and shelter, the planet, neighbourhoods and education. After the 10-day submission period, contributed ideas will be opened up for public voting, and the top projects will win awards of USD 5,000, USD 25,000, USD 50,000 or USD 250,000. Thousands of projects will get funded, likely with additional resources from Pepsi's retail and other partners.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

What’s different about this contest than other online contests? First, never before has a trusted brand engaged in the work of doing social good with the level of resources behind the Pepsi Refresh Project. Pepsi is giving away an unprecedented $20 million in grants and inviting the public to rank the best ideas in an open vote. And the grants are available in a range of sizes, to foster ideas as small as a community garden and as large as groundbreaking medical research. The Pepsi Refresh Project stands apart from other programs in that it is open to a broad spectrum of ideas, and it will be a sustained year-long effort.

Pepsi’s Refresh Project is an alternative to traditional marketing campaign. Frank Cooper, senior VP-chief consumer engagement officer at PepsiCo Americas Beverages, explains in Ad Age: "In 2010, each of our beverage brands has a strategy and marketing platform that will be less about a singular event, less about a moment, more about a movement.‪"

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Besides increasing involvement with its brand and tapping into the all-powerful global brain, Pepsi's effort is also sure to please the skeptical masses of Generation G, who increasingly demand that companies give something back.

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