Pepsi Starts 'I Count' Hispanic Initiative

Eva Longoria Parker Will Direct Documentary for Census-Boosting Campaign

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NEW YORK ( -- PepsiCo is taking advantage of the 2010 Census with an initiative called "Yo Sumo" (Spanish for "I count") that encourages Hispanics to go beyond just being counted numerically and to share their experiences that have helped shape the American landscape. Working with Pepsi, actress Eva Longoria Parker will make a documentary based on the stories posted to the website set up by Pepsi.

Like the last Census a decade ago, the 2010 poll is expected to give a big boost to Hispanic advertising, as marketers are expected to be impressed by the sheer number of Hispanic consumers and how fast that market is growing.

"We felt the Hispanic consumer needs to go beyond simply being counted, and count," said Martha Bermudez, Pepsi's senior marketing manager, multicultural marketing. "Pepsi partnered with Eva Longoria Parker, who will direct and produce [the documentary]. We want to bring the stories to life in a creative and compelling film."

Ms. Longoria Parker has worked with Pepsi before, appearing in a Hispanic spot for brand Pepsi a few years ago, Ms. Bermudez said.

The "Yo Sumo" effort is being announced today, but a soft launch using social media is already drawing about 100 fans a day to its Facebook page, said Melisa Quiñoy, CEO of Dieste, Pepsi's Hispanic agency. Many of the fans have started posting their stories on the site, in a mix of Spanish, English and Spanglish, about growing up Hispanic in America, or arriving as young immigrants.

Actress Eva Longoria Parker, seen here in a previous Hispanic spot for Pepsi, will direct and produce the documentary.
Actress Eva Longoria Parker, seen here in a previous Hispanic spot for Pepsi, will direct and produce the documentary.
Pepsi and Dieste are working with Telemundo, the No. 2 Spanish-language TV network owned by NBC Universal, and Telemundo's youth-oriented cable channel Mun2 and site. Dieste has done a commercial for "Yo Sumo" featuring quick cuts of young Hispanics talking about being counted, with both English and Spanish-language voiceovers.

Ms. Bermudez said Telemundo will also be broadcasting integrations to drive awareness of Pepsi "Yo Sumo" and the stories that are being collected. For instance, Patricia de Leon, an actress in Telemundo telenovela "Perro Amor," will do a two-minute segment on Telemundo's daily entertainment show "Aceso Total" telling her story and talking about why she supports the "Yo Sumo" effort.

Another partner is Edoardo Chavarin, who started trendy Mexican T-shirt business NaCo and designed the Pepsi "Yo Sumo" T-shirt that is turning up in a growing number of Facebook pictures.

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