‘Uncle Drew’ Keeps Pepsi Young





The youth of the world always think they are better than the old folks. After all, they are young, fast, quick, smart, savvy, and well… young. So, what happens when young basketball players take on the old folks in a pick-up game on local courts in New Jersey and Los Angeles? It starts as expected with the old guys getting ‘schooled’ by the youngsters. But something happened midway in the game when old guys brought their game to an entirely new level of play – totally dominating the younger players who can only stare in open-mouthed disbelief at the old players.



Who are these guys? Well, the old players aren’t really old – in fact, they are two of the top professional basketball players in the nation. With a little help from Hollywood makeup artists, star players Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) and  Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) try to get the old team back together on a road trip. The first Uncle Drew video has more than 17 million views, and the second video quickly amassed more than 5 million views in the first few days.

The videos are a big hit for Pepsi Max and illustrate the product’s tag line of “a zero-calorie cola in disguise.” As a product in the mature stage of its product life cycle, Pepsi brings an “A-game” to the courts. A lesson to marketers: things are not always what they first appear to be.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

1.      Start with a discussion about product life cycle.
2.      Have students identify products that fit into each of the product life cycle stages: introduction, growth, maturity, decline.
3.      Discuss how products can maintain market share in the maturity stage. What tactics work best? What happens in the competitive space?
4.      Then show Pepsi’s Uncle Drew videos (Note: While many students will seen these videos already, but they have not connected the use of the videos to the PLC stages.) How do these videos fit the techniques needed for products in a mature industry?
5.      Divide students into groups: Similar to the Uncle Drew videos, have each group develop a tactic that could be used for a product in each of the product life cycle stages.

Source:  Brandchannel.com, 11/6/12

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