Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Lilly Yip, PepsiCo

With the aim of injecting youth and vitality to a century-old brand, Yip keeps a close eye on Gen-Z tastes while still supporting traditional Chinese culture and social initiatives.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Lilly Yip, PepsiCo
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Lilly Yip


Long ago in the 1980s, Pepsi’s slogan was ‘The Choice of a New Generation’. Fast-forward nearly 40 years and PepsiCo has found a new generation of consumers in China for its drinks (including Pepsi, Mirinda, Gatorade and others). From Shanghai, PepsiCo’s APAC CMO Lilly Yip likes to keep a close eye on the preferences of younger Chinese trend-setters. In fact, Yip is constantly looking to inject youth and vitality to the brand, whether it be through bold ‘black can’ artistry from cheeky international designer Alexander Wang; collaborations with local and global fashion designers and popular musicians; or creative social-media content.

Her team has delivered many award-winning programs including the Pepsi Campus Music Program, organized in more than 1,000 universities, giving millions of young talents a shot at pursuing their music dreams. In 2019, Pepsi partnered with Alibaba Group to launch the first personalized TVC app enabled by consumer data. It has seized multiple industry awards in digital marketing. Yip also likes to experiment with marketing drink flavours, most recently developing a playful campaign around flower-infused Osmanthus Pepsi in China, which she says is partial to younger tastes.

Yet joining a century-old brand, Yip knows the benefits of appealing across generations of Chinese. She spearheads Pepsi’s annual ‘Bring Happiness Home’ event during Spring Festival, which partners with the China Women Development Foundation and supports rural mothers’ initiatives through traditional cultural projects. Last year, Yip could be seen touring a village women’s embroidery charity in Guangdong province, and this year she was up in Jilin province supporting a Manchu paper-cutting cooperative in Dongliao. This program reinforces traditional family values amid the country’s rapid transformation.

Pepsi’s 2019 CNY film, headed by Yip’s team further underscored PepsiCo’s commitment to empowering women, inspired by the stories of China’s first two female astronauts, Yang Liu and Ya-Ping Wang. Over the last decade, PepsiCo’s iconic Chinese New Year program has also been one of the most-watched branded videos, with a viewership of up to 1 billion people each year. 

But Yip’s vision extend beyond mainland China’s borders. Yip currently leads the marketing function of the PepsiCo APAC sector, which includes Greater China, Southeast Asia, North Asia, and Australia/New Zealand. In her CMO role, she leads the PepsiCo APAC marketing teams to accelerate digital transformation, combining data and tech with local insights. The team continues to build a portfolio of brands, such as Pepsi, Lay's, Cheetos, Mirinda, Gatorade, and Mountain Dew, that inspires the new generation of consumers in the region.

An MBA graduate from Berkeley, Yip spent time with McKinsey, Nestle and FutureBrand before joining Pepsico in New York in 2004 to work on global corporate strategy. After being transferred to Pepsi Greater China, Yip worked her way up from a business development role in Hong Kong to head up insights and marketing for Greater China before taking on her current role.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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