Pepsi has been one of the few brands who has truly believed in engaging its audience on social media with the right mix of entertainment and information. Over the years, it has led some amazing campaigns like Pepsi Road to Champions and VIP Box Race which have been applauded for their creative approach.
Inspite of leading the race with creativity, the brand has yet again elevated its positioning with @ThatPepsiIntern and has hoisted engagement on another level altogether. The launch of this campaign has sparked pure excitement among youngsters, the core target audience of the brand.
With a clear objective at hand to bring alive the Pepsi IPL experience among millions of users, Pepsi has created this unique social media property to stir real engagement through offline activities executed by interns. @ThatPepsiIntern brings cricket enthusiasts closer to the entire Pepsi IPL7 action.
3 interns will be flown to UAE and 12 of them will be taken to the Indian matches. They will be treated with a grand reception and will get to closely experience every aspect of the match beyond the stadium. They will bring Pepsi IPL closer to the fans and serve as the insiders of the biggest annual tournament cricket. They will be responsible for live tweeting their experience at the game and engaging with users online, giving them a microscopic view of celebrities, match updates using all sorts of social tools like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc.
The initial buzz started a couple of weeks back when Ranbir Kapoor, the brand ambassador of Pepsi was roped in to play @ThatPepsiIntern. Ranbir had been interning at Pepsi for the Pepsi IPL 2014 and he was last seen in Bangalore, where he surprised the media at the player auctions with his unique entry on the @ThatPepsiIntern Cycle. He was seen hanging out with the team owners, players and posing for pictures with celebrities while tweeting everything live. Ranbir was used to create the early buzz about the campaign.
Followed by this announcement, Pepsi organized a launch party for @ThatPepsiIntern which was attended by several Twitter influencers. This extended the hype further on the platform.
Shortly after the event and the campaign hype created by Ranbir Kapoor being hired by Pepsi, within 10 days, Pepsi announced that Ranbir Kapoor has been fired and is on a lookout for another deserving intern. A Youtube video which was released at the party, was made to highlight this. Within 10 days, the video has received over 4 lakh views.
The buzz around Ranbir had been sustained since the auctions, through interesting pieces of content and snippets of what was in store.
An exciting microsite has been created to capture all the action to be a centrepoint for all the revelations from various social profiles across the web. Currently, it reveals all the updates from the brand and is also a platform where users can apply to become the Pepsi intern by simply posting a selfie with the Pepsi bottle and answering a bonus question.
Other fun entries on the site talk about the job description of the interns, incoming entries by users and will also store the exclusive content from the campaign.
Pepsi created a property @ThatPepsiIntern and has been tweeting updates through that. The Twitter handle of the campaign, @ThatPepsiIntern has already garnered considerable following and will be the primary focus of everything around the campaign. The content on twitter is lighthearted and humorous. This retains constant interest from the twitterverse.
The brand has also created hash-tag #PepsiInternSelfie which is a Twitter based application. When a user tweets out a selfie with a Pepsi using the hash-tag, an automated response is generated from the handle, leading users to the site.
There is also an account on Instagram with a steady growth in followers and populated with images since the commencement of the campaign. It is a joy to glance through all the images since they give users as overview of the campaign and are a visual treat.
Another platform well used by the brand is Linkedin. Since Linkedin perfectly fits in with the theme of the campaign, it was a brilliant approach to capitalize the popularity of the platform.
Also, we just heard that the first intern, @AyeNuMe has been selected.
She has flown to UAE and has been tweeting live from the stadium, bringing every action to Twitter as promised by @ThatPepsiIntern. Her vivid experiences are being recorded on the Twitter handle, getting a lot of interaction from fans.
Pepsi has struck a chord with youngsters through a strong celebrity connect and scored high with the campaign opening. Using celebrity endorsement aptly is one of the most important advantages a brand can gain. Since youngsters idolize Ranbir Kapoor, he was the perfect attention grabber. The youth tends to be fascinated with the lifestyle Ranbir Kapoor lived as an intern, hence creating an aspiration value within them.
Also since Ranbir Kapoor has been a brand ambassador of the brand, the communication remained consistent and immediately connected the campaign with the brand. Instead of roping in a new face for the campaign, it was commendable for Pepsi to stick to their old face.
Firing Ranbir Kapoor was an interesting strategy too. It kept the conversations alive and happening, creating hope among users to live the life he led.
Brands usually follow a set pattern when it comes to offline online integration. Pepsi has set a new benchmark with this massive integrated campaign.
@ThatPepsiIntern is so engaging in nature that it automatically draws responses from users. Through @ThatPepsiIntern, cricket lovers can directly interact with or send their message across to celebrities. They can ask @ThatPepsiIntern to complete unique tasks for them in the stadium and even win tickets to the matches through contests.
Very simply put, fans want to know everything they can about Pepsi IPL7. And Pepsi bridges this gap by bringing to them for the first time, such a close view of every aspect of the match, in and beyond the stadium. Exclusive photos and videos by Pepsi will create a strong recall value among viewers.
Experiential Social Media
Pepsi has always been a forerunner in innovative advertising. It is hard to think about any social media campaign that has previously attempted a whole new property, clubbed it with some real data or content and created a similar zest. Creating fresh content and staying abreast with the latest technology has been Pepsi’s marketing strength.
Creating long lasting relationships with customers should become the focus point of brand campaigns. User generated content testifies loyalty and Pepsi is doing just that. Pepsi has begun to blur the lines between reality and virtual.
Pepsi has created a stark difference among brand campaigns on social media and a league that brands can look up to.