[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Social Media Fail: Pepsi

Whatever your preference for cola-flavoured beverages, this social media misfire from Pepsi left a bad taste in the mouths of soccer fans.

You can beat the feeling

During the 2014 World Cup Pepsi Sweden launched a series of ads ahead of Portugal’s much anticipated play-off with Sweden.

However fans felt the line between good-humoured sledging and downright offensive was crossed when Facebook ads featuring a voodoo doll of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo started appearing.


The ads showed images of voodoo Ronaldo being placed in a variety of painful and dangerous situations, including being tied to a train track.

It turns out Pepsi Sweden was the one in real danger, as Ronaldo’s army of fans quickly voiced their outrage. In fact, the outpouring was so great that an anti-Pepsi Facebook page soon saw 130,000 Likes.

The Pepsi Challenge

Pepsi Sweden responded with an apology, and removed the adverts. For the record Portugal won the match 1-0 thanks to a goal from Ronaldo.

The take-away for the rest of us? Tread carefully when posting “humorous” content on social. And even more carefully when targeting a living national treasure.

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