Toronto Mike

Canada Kills Pepsi Cheer - We Win!

Pepsi's Cheer sucks

What was Pepsi thinking?  That's what I want to know.

I work in marketing.  I'm shocked Pepsi's "Cheer Nation" campaign got off the drawing board.  I totally understand why Pepsi would want to associate their beverage with our national game, that's just smart business sense, but asking us to abandon “Go Canada Go” and “Ca-Na-Da” in favour of their awful and insulting chant of “Eh Oh Canada Go” is a horrible, horrible idea.  They literally trampled ungraciously and obnoxiously on sacred ground.

Since I wrote Cheer Nation? I'm Not Chanting "Eh! O' Canada Go!" For Pepsi I've been using every ounce of my Google prowess and social media might to defend my nation, our game and our collective intelligence by rallying against PepsiCo and this campaign.  I've managed to get interviewed by one major newspaper and an article I wrote got into the hands of the entertainment editor at The Star.  Sadly, that article never got printed, but this one in the Vancouver Sun ran today.

'Eh Oh Canada Go' junior hockey chant falls flat
VANCOUVER — While Team Canada's attempt to achieve a sixth straight  World Junior Championship gold medal fell to the wayside in overtime  against Team USA last night in Saskatoon, at least one sigh of relief  was exhaled by hockey fans across Canada as a corporate attempt to  hijack a cultural tradition fell flat in its face.
Pepsi's  attempt to eliminate the traditional Canadian hockey chants of “Go  Canada Go” and “Ca-Na-Da” and re-brand them with the dubious chant of  “Eh Oh Canada Go” was received with little fanfare before the  tournament and by the gold medal game, the corporate takeover was  stopped in its tracks as 13,000-plus loud, passionate fans kept to the  traditional “Go Canada Go” chant.
Pepsi is a sponsor of  Hockey Canada but not the Olympics and decided to get in on the  pre-Olympic hockey buzz by creating a marketing campaign asking  Canadians to create a new hockey chant.
The hockey gods cringed, as did fans across Canada.
The  corporation's bid to get one million people to sign up for “Cheer  Nation” has only garnered 93,876, many of whom were enticed to sign up  because Pepsi said it would temporarily display a list of their names  in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Pepsi's Facebook page has  133,000 fans, although that may be deceiving since most of the latest  messages on the page seem to reinforce what many are calling a  marketing disaster.
"I became a [Facebook] fan of this  just to say how stupid it is. No company is going to tell me how to  cheer. I don't need a sports cheer marketed," wrote Facebook member  Jeff.
Meanwhile, the recently created "Eh! Oh! Canada Go! chant is a national embarrassment" Facebook page has 30,000 members.
And on, one fan created a forum discussion demanding the Pepsi chant be boycotted.
While  Pepsi said the chant had "landed in Saskatoon" it was barely heard, if  not for the parachuted Pepsi employees who tried (and failed) to launch  the chant inside the arena.
During one commercial break in  a previous game the chant's creator Joan Buma was introduced while a  small group of "fans" chanted the cheer and a Pepsi cheerleader waved a  Pepsi flag up and down the aisles. To Pepsi's credit one boy (presumed  not to be paid by Pepsi) did stand up and bravely cheer the Pepsi chant  for the camera.
Fans posting messages on online hockey  discussion forums, such as NHL team websites and,  condemned the chant, with all due respect to Buma.
"I trust the Pepsi chant will die the early and inglorious death it deserves," said one member on
Bloggers also derided the corporate gimmick.
“Toronto  Mike” said on his popular blog that the premise that Team Canada fans  needed to be united was "faulty," and that fans are not corporate  "sheep."
By the gold medal game there was seemingly  nothing left of the chant other than the continuous bombardment of  Pepsi commercials on television. The cheer wasn't necessarily  boycotted, rather it was simply ignored and died an inglorious death.

I'm claiming victory.  This campaign will go down in history as one of the greatest miscalculations in Canadian marketing history.  We Canadians are a tolerant bunch, polite and passive at times, but when you come in our backyard and tell us how to cheer for our national hockey team, we get pissed.  And you don't want to see a Canadian pissed.

That damn cheer has indeed died an inglorious death.  We won!

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