Pepsi celebrates NYC bodegas in holiday campaign

The CPG giant is highlighting stories and offering financial support to bodega owners across the five boroughs

The tree in Rockefeller Center is up and lit, and the windows on Fifth Avenue are decorated with winter wonderland scenes. 

But Christmas will look different in New York City this year. 

Pepsi wants to help bring back some of the magic with a holiday campaign that celebrates the city’s infamous bodegas — and gives back to their owners across the five boroughs.

The CPG giant partnered with Bronx natives Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, otherwise known as “The Bodega Boys,” to surprise one Bronx bodega owner with a check to cover his rent for 2021. Pepsi will also launch a program to give NYC shoppers $100 gift cards to various local bodegas through Dec. 20. 

The campaign is part of a push for New York-based Pepsi to give back to its local community, said Umi Patel, CMO and VP for PepsiCo Beverages North America. 

“So much of what New York City is known for will look so different this year,” Patel said. “This is the right time to celebrate the locals of New York.”

Bodegas, of course, carry lots of Pepsi products. But Pepsi also wanted to celebrate these unique New York City convenience store owners as essential workers and  “unsung heroes” of this challenging year, Patel said. 

To spread the word, Pepsi is encouraging New Yorkers to tell their own stories about their local bodegas on social with the hashtag #PepsiBodega. Through these posts, Pepsi will identify more than 20 bodegas within the five boroughs to support financially.

The campaign will run over the holidays and includes paid media with local publications. Stories will also be shared nationally on Pepsi’s platforms, as well as on The Bodega Boys’ social channels and podcast. The Bodega Boys partnership adds authenticity to the campaign, Patel said. 

“There’s a lot of sadness this year,” Patel said. “Our role is to provide a bit of levity.”

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