We knew as soon as Pepsi launched its Obama-esque rebrand in response to the 44th president's history-making election, we would soon be seeing some interesting marketing coming from the soft drink giant. Last month saw the launch of an equally history-making campaign called the Pepsi Refresh Project, which takes the merging disciplines of cause marketing and social media to a new level.

Since its launch a month ago, more than 1,100 ideas to change the world have been submitted for consideration and are in the running to receive a portion $1.3 million in prize money. There are four classes of prizes — small ($5K) to large ($250K) in six categories, one of which is "The Planet."

It's always a bit tricky when any giant corporation with a middling environmental record and past accusations of greenwashing attempts a "change the world" type campaign but in this case, the money is very real and the likes of Demi Moore have backed it up. And better to spend the money on actual charitable causes than one Super Bowl ad — right?

I happened to notice that of the all the categories, the eco-category seems the least popular. Of the top 40 contenders, only two are green-related, a commentary I suppose on the difficulty of environmental causes in garnering emotional sentiment. The top planet entry is to create a community garden in inner-city L.A., but too bad he only applied for $5,000! I would have guessed $50,000 on the low end, but I still wish him luck. 

So greenies get in there and vote to get more of the green causes ranked. 

Pepsi's refreshing twist on environmental action
Pepsi Refresh Project uses social media to get across its new brand message -- you can change the world.. if a giant corporation pays for it.