You're in the Pepsi Generation...

Guy Kawasaki has been talking about this for a long time.
Building a brand isn't just about shouting louder. It's about spreading the word meaningfully, with precision and impact. That's what the new movers and shakers are trying to doing through viral marketing.

But this new approach seems somehow more akin to PR than traditional marketing.

CRT/Tanaka tells the story perhaps as well as anyone. They claim to help build brands via social networking. Companies like this one don't come up with cartoon elves baking cookies or leprechauns hiding breakfast cereal. They use the new media to weave their brand message into the fabric of our day to day experiences.

If that's where we're headed then we've come a long way, baby.
A 60 second package of snappy taglines and catchy jingles used to rule the advertising world. Here's what Pepsi was doing in the 1960's to try to win the Cola Wars by appealing to people who think young...

That's the silky smooth voice of Joanie Summers, BTW. As an aside, do you get the feeling watching this that younger people were a lot older in the 1960's?

Joanie Summers meet Maria Sansone.
But Pepsi's trying to win over a new generation now and they're using viral marketing to do it. Compare that vintage 60 second spot to what they're doing today with Pepsi's PopTub.

Better yet, check out what Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane is up to with his Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, in alliance with Priceline and Burger King.

Do you think it's time for the Mad Men Ad Men to move aside and let the PR guys take over? How well do you respond to the viral approach? Who's doing the best job of it? Who isn't?