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Pepsi aids fund-raising project with positive advertising

Optimism, joy, hope and love are all parts of the logo for Pepsi’s latest advertising campaign, “Express Yourself,” which has been launched in an effort to finance new community and social development projects to be undertaken by the non-governmental organization (NGO), Alashanek Ya Balady (AYB).

AYB is a dynamic organization that aims to bring impoverished Egyptians above the poverty line through its innovative development model.

“Among [AYB’s] activities is supporting profitable projects that can progressively provide a boost to the economy,” says Maryam al-Safty, the organization’s communications manager.

Stemming from this vision, AYB has come to an agreement with Pepsi to launch a fund-raising project, from which profits will be used to finance micro-loans for beneficiaries in need. A wide range of products, including mugs, caps, T-shirts, car stickers, key chains, small bags, mobile skins, laptop covers and bags are being offered in booths all over the country. Products bearing a printed Pepsi logo are available in cheerful colors like yellow, green, pink and blue, in an effort to inject some optimism into people’s lives. Prices range from LE 5 to LE65.

Michael Mawrise, an employee at Full Circle, a public relations company handling the project, says that while young people between the ages of 12 and 20 tend to purchase mobile skins, those in their mid-to-late-twenties are more interested in laptop covers and bags. Mawrise tells Al-Masry Al-Youm that the booths selling these products are open from 10 am until 11 pm every day.

“The campaign aims to encourage young people to express their opinions and have a positive outlook on life,” says Ahmed Samir, the campaign’s project manager at Full Circle. “We want to instill in youth hope for the future through the propagation of new ideas.”

Samir explains that Pepsi’s new logo – which he calls breathtaking – resembles a smiling face in order to convey the campaign’s positive attitude. The campaign was first launched on 25 May in Tivoli Dome, a huge food court in Heliopolis, with a ceremony that featured fireworks. By 8 June, the company had established a number of booths in Egypt’s largest shopping malls in Cairo and Alexandria, such as Citystars, Dandy Mall and City Centre, in an attempt to cater to a larger segment of society. Beginning this month, the company has begun shifting its efforts to the north coast, the largest youth destination in the summer.

Though Pepsi has financed several charitable development programs before, Samir says that this is the first time it will market special products specifically for fund-raising purposes. “We decided to take to streets this time to urge people to participate more, and see them happy to get something in return for their charitable participation,” explains Samir.

The campaign is scheduled to come to an end by the beginning of August. However, there is a possibility that it will continue after Ramadan, as a result of its hitherto unexpected success.

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