Tag Archives: Pepsi

Pepsi’s “Refresh Everything” Debrief

Hello all!

This is for all of you who have participated at some point in “The Sheol Express”’s PEPSI REFRESH EVERYTHING campaign, and voted for us to win $5,000 that we need to finish post-production.

Many of you have watched, voting faithfully, as we slid in the rankings, from #6 to #20 over the course of a couple of weeks.  It was a heartbreaking process, and we tried many tactics to try to boost us back up, but for some reason we weren’t able to get ourselves up in the ratings!

Before I give you a detailed run-down of the events, the end point (brought up front for you busy, “employed” people) is that in the two months that we were campaigning for $5,000 from Pepsi, three investors have come forward and invested over $13,000 in The Sheol Express, meaning that we’re on our way to completion, and will be done in the beginning of June. It doesn’t feel quite as cool and communal as being able to say “YES, with ALL OF YOUR help, we won $5,000 from Pepsi,” but it feels pretty darn good to be able to say “This film is going to be finished with the best workmanship possible, we’re going to get to pay our artists semi-fairly, and we will be able to travel to a couple of film festivals.”

Awesome, huh?  That’s the short and sweet of it, if you want a blow-by-blow, keep reading!

Many of you have questioned me – “are we even working on this anymore?”  “Why haven’t you sent out another e-mail?” “isn’t it time to kick people in the butt and let them know it’s time to finish this up?”   Let me explain a little.  First, comically enough my e-mail account was marked as a “spammer” quickly after the 1st of March, so my e-mail urging capabilities were limited.

Second, we actually had the great pleasure of meeting a couple internet mavericks named Damian and Kyle, who have several YouTube channels, some of which regularly generate over 100,000 hits to each of their videos.  They contacted us, loved the film’s concept, and set out to generate traffic to our Pepsi page.  They each posted several videos urging people to vote for the film that generated tens of thousands of hits each, and we can only think that at least a fraction of the people viewing voted.  This means that we must have had thousands and thousands of people voting for the film… and yet, we continued to slide in the rankings.

This leads me to think that:

1)  The public didn’t resonate with our idea, as it didn’t have “homeless people”, “go green”, or “puppies” in our title.  Fair enough.

2)  The other ideas hired Chinese server farms to simply vote every day.  Ingenious, although the part that makes me mad is we literally had offers from both people with access to Chinese bots and a group of Russian hackers, but turned them down in the interest of fair play.

3)  There’s actually a Pepsi conspiracy against our film, because it was revealed that Diggory Venn drinks Coke.

4)  These sorts of contests are really just brilliant ways for huge corporations to turn people like me into word-of-mouth machines, begging for the scraps from their table in return for sending thousands of my friends to their site.  I’m not bitter.  Not at all

So, in the end, I just wanted to throw out a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who gave their time, effort, facebook statuses, twitter feeds, blog posts, and hyperlinks to our project.  Your effort and belief in this project is moving, and means a lot to us.  Add this to the $13,000 if independent equity that we had invested in the film, and I’d say we had a pretty good run. 

I’ll settle for that.

Again, thanks for all your guys’ support, and be sure to keep up with us on this blog, or using the ways listed below!


Facebook Fan Page: “The Sheol Express”

Twitter: www.twitter.com/thesheolexpress

Why You Must Vote for Us NOW

Hello and welcome!

To the March edition of “help us finish up The Sheol Express!”  Yes, that’s right, we’re still trying to wrangle up enough votes to win $5,000 through Pepsi’s Refresh Everything contest.  And wait… I know what you’re thinking!  Please see below as I read your mind, and respond to your questions:

But wait, I thought that contest ended in February?

It did.  However, Pepsi has set this up to let the projects that *almost* made it into the top 10 (to receive funding) in Feburary – but didn’t – roll over into the next month’s contest.

Pepsi's Refresh Everything

Pepsi's Refresh Everything in NYC Bilboards

Okay, so, what’s that mean?

It means that The Sheol Express has a very real chance of securing some serious funding that will help us get this film finished and onto the film festival circuit.

But I don’t want to get all excited again… and then have the film end up at #34 again this month.

Yes, this is a concern, but here’s the deal: as you may have seen, the top 10 “ideas” are displayed on the www.refresheverything.com home page.  If we can break into this top 10 in the first few days of the month – when every project has a lot of mobility – we feel confident that “one time”, casual visitors to the Pepsi site will see it and vote for us.  They may not be loyal, but the overall effect is staggering – that those projects that start in the lead stay in the lead.

So, this means that we need YOU to TODAY – and especially for the next week – to give this site a voting blitz.  We’re going to try to get in the top 15 in the next 48 hours, and I really think that we can do it!

The outpouring of support, Facebook posts, tweets, mouth-to-mouth buzz, random connections, comments, and people that have contacted us about how this movie has already affected their lives is a huge encouragement.  We’ve had people all over the world discover the film and contact us, though this grant and blog, and it’s awesome to speak with all of you.

Thank you all for your support so far, and I would be eternally grateful if that support continued through the next week as we ROCKET this project to the top of Pepsi’s “refreshing ideas”.