PepsiCo’s Adam Fox and Phoebe Alix



Who: Adam Fox, 26 and Phoebe Alix, 24, Toronto

Why they’re a big deal: At PepsiCo Canada’s conference in January ’08, Fox, assistant marketing manager on sensible snacks for Frito Lay, met Alix, then-assistant marketing manager for shelf stable juices and drinks (now for Quaker innovation). The pair was looking for new ways to reach the target markets for SunChips and Dole Sparklers respectively, and they realized they were appealing to the same demo – women aged 25 to 39. ‘We were eager to do something new because SunChips and Dole aren’t Pepsi or Doritos – they’re smaller but they’re strategic brands,’ says Fox.

With the idea that these two products were better together, Fox and Alix developed an integrated program, distributing 350,000 samples across Canada. They also utilized Frito Lay’s partnership with the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, bringing in donations ($150,000 total) with SunChips’ and Sparklers’ specially marked pink packaging.

When they came back to the annual conference again this year, Fox and Alix were presented with the Power of One award, recognizing outstanding achievement in working across PepsiCo companies. It’s an award typically given to senior brass, making them the youngest winners in the past few years, and possibly the youngest ever, according to Dale Hooper, VP marketing, PepsiCo Beverages Canada.

‘It was only when they reached out collectively and found a common idea and then worked together that they were able to make their dollars go further while creating something that could be relevant to consumers,’ says Hooper.

Strategy asked Fox (Alix was unavailable) what drew him into marketing and what kind of advertising is working now.

What brand is doing it right when it comes to targeting youth?

I don’t work on the Doritos brand, but as a consumer, Doritos is doing remarkable things connecting with youth, specifically with [the 'Guru' campaign, see p. 30], they’re giving the consumer the control. They’re saying to youth, you know what? You don’t want to be told what to do. To put consumers in control of creating an ad obviously would make it more relevant than telling them something that companies have told them for years.

When entering the workforce, what job qualities did you look for?

The first is early leadership, the second is the ability to gain cross-functional expertise to be a better marketer, and the third’s the fact that you can work anywhere in the world within PepsiCo.

A lot of generation Y youth coming into organizations want change and they want an ability to make an impact.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?

The more you can work together and build your network is really how you’re going to get extraordinary results. You can be in a situation where you don’t have the most funding – or trying to get the time with everyone you need can be challenging – but if you’re a self-starter and seize the opportunities, you can do a ton working with your peers, and make an impact at all levels, not just at senior levels.

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