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February 2, 2010; Netimperative | Instead of spending the $33 million it spent last year on Superbowl ads, this year Pepsi has launched a social media campaign to give $20 million to nonprofits. The Pepsi Refresh project accepts 1,000 nominations each month and allows users to nominate their ideas as well as to vote on which groups the money. Winners will be announced March 1 and they’re already at the 1,000-nomination limit. As with any social media campaign worth its weight, it will also have a heavy presence on Facebook, with an app that lets people submit ideas and share ideas via their Facebook account. Pepsi’s VP of marketing said, “We’re living in a new age with consumers. They are looking for more of a two-way dialogue, story-telling and word of mouth. Mediums like the digital space are much more conducive towards that.” How dare Pepsi? Superbowl ads are sacred on Madison Ave. Is this the final blow to the beleaguered traditional media? Maybe. Perhaps we nonprofits can learn from the big guys. Lesson: Take that money you were about to use to purchase the 30 second spot during the first half of Sunday’s game, and invest it in social media marketing instead. But without the commercials, I have no reason to watch the game.—Kristin Barrali