Hong Kong-born Richard Lee is the driving force behind PepsiCo China’s campaigns. He joined the company in 1997 as China Beverages Cola Director, becoming VP of Marketing in 2001. The creative innovator with a knack for meaningful branding – backed up with an MBA from Harvard Business School and BSc from the University of California – didn’t go unnoticed. In 2005, he was named by Ad Age as one of its Top 10 Global Players. Continue reading →
What’s it like being in China at this momentous time?
I love it. So much is happening. The Chinese are extremely optimistic about the future: they believe that anything is possible. And the youth especially have a very optimistic mindset towards new technological innovations: they want to try everything. It means that hypes and trends come and go at an extraordinary pace. In fact, it’s a challenge to keep up with the youth. That said, it’s exactly my kind of challenge: you either run with it – or get left behind. Continue reading →
Lured back by the huge potential, opportunities and challenges of keeping up with the speed of change, Richard currently leads product innovation and brand activation for all PepsiCo food and beverage brands.
China’s fast-evolving market has made it a top priority for a growing number of multinationals. Any downsides?
Unfortunately, China’s rapid development has come at a cost: the loss of societal values. One of my goals is to remind the Chinese youth of traditional family values. In 2012, we came up with Bring Happiness Home, a performance-with-purpose campaign that celebrates bonding among family members Continue reading →
SHANGHAI - In September, Richard Lee, PepsiCo’s Greater China chief marketing officer, took on an additional role as CMO for Master Kong Beverages. In his trademark confident manner, Lee speaks out about the potential conflict of handling two of the largest beverage brands in China.
In addition to managing the brands under PepsiCo China, Lee will guide the marketing strategy for Master Kong (under Tingyi Holdings). This includes the development of individual subbrand strategy, product portfolio framework, consumer insight, communication management, celebrity endorsements and agency relationships.
This is obviously not an easy task. How will the double CMO, who was born in Hong Kong and schooled in America, add value to both brands? Continue reading →
Richard Lee hopes to make PepsiCo more than just a great marketing company in China.
By David Blecken for Campaign Asia
Having last year pledged to invest US$2.5 billion in China by 2013, PepsiCo seems serious about building its position in the market. And having recently taken on responsibility for all food and beverage brands in the company’s portfolio, Richard Lee is among those leading the charge — and arguably facing the biggest challenge in distinguishing the brand from rivals in the sector.
Interview with Richard Lee
Yet the Hong Kong native seems anything but fazed by the task ahead.
PepsiCo and Master Kong’s branding guru for China, Richard Lee says content marketing collaboration canunleash creativity confined by traditional approaches.
Having recently taken on responsibility for the marketing of all beverage brands under both the PepsiCo and Master Kong portfolios, Richard Lee is unfazed by the prospect of overload. “We’re the best of global and best of local now, with different types of expertise but extremely complementary to each other,” Lee says.
His appointment opens up cross-pollination of skillsets within the two companies, which first struck up a strategic alliance in 2012. The beverage players also share a media agency network, GroupM (Mindshare for PepsiCo, Midas for Master Kong), which means continued synergy.
Interview with Richard Lee
The links extend beyond media economics, and also stretch into product distribution. This was exemplified when PepsiCo broke Coca-Cola’s 25-year hold on beverage supply to Walt Disney resorts with an exclusive Shanghai theme park agreement this February — Master Kong products were included in the deal. Continue reading →
I have been in touch with Richard Lee, the chief marketing officer of PepsiCo China, since 2008. Every time we meet up he shares a new story with me.
Over the years, I’ve started to recognize a clear message in Pepsi’s narrative. Pepsi’s purpose is to show that traditional values are still relevant, especially in the context of China’s current economic growth. It is a clear ‘people’ purpose.
Some years ago Richard told me about the ‘Thirst for Creativity’ campaign, as part of which Pepsi gave young creatives a chance to express themselves in this rather logic-oriented society. Some really cool stuff came out of this campaign. It raised awareness of the importance of creativity, not just for individuals, but for society as a whole.
Meeting Richard Lee PepsiCo China – CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands
In 2012 he showed me a video in which three PepsiCo brands joined forces around Chinese New Year to reconnect young people to family values. It underscored the idea that at the end of the day, family is a very powerful and important entity, which is something the new generation in today’s China tends to forget.
I am with Richard Lee, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo China, enjoying the view from the M Glamour bar on the Bund in Shanghai.
The stories that Richard has shared with me over recent years are very diverse, yet they all have a number of common elements.
The most striking one in my opinion is that they use their brands’ communication power to convey a higher message.
Their purpose is to make Chinese audiences aware of the importance of traditional values. Over the years they have highlighted values like creativity and sense of community, but in the past three years PepsiCo has been focusing on ‘Happiness’ as a core value.