The Pepsi IPL7 that commenced on 16th April 2014 has been offering online users scoops of cricket experiences through @ThatPepsiIntern. In my last story, I told you about Pepsi’s entertaining initiative to excite social media users with tweets, photos and updates from the UAE stadiums, all given realtime through @ThatPepsiIntern’s Twitter handle.
The Twitter handle, managed by the 3 interns over a period of 15 days during their stay in UAE uncovered the experience they got on 3 cricket stadiums of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai. Their stay began on 15th April, when the 1st intern @AyeNuMe was flown by Pepsi’s team to witness the initial matches.
Anu Menon who works with a Mumbai based digital agency spoke to us and told us about this once in a lifetime opportunity. Her instant reaction to my call was, “I am thrilled to be the first Pepsi Intern and so thankful to the Pepsi team for letting me be part of this wonderful campaign. They took excellent care of me, beginning with a warm welcome, a comfortable hotel stay and the opportunity to meet the biggies of the industry. I had a chance to meet Rishi Jaitly, Twitter India’s head and many other personalities.”
Piyusha Pilani, the 2nd intern too had similar thoughts. She added, “Apart from the cricket experience, the Pepsi team pampered me with a tour of the Dubai shopping mall and a trip to Jumeirah beach. I also got a chance to ride the Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster in the world. My most exciting moment was when I met the CEO of Pepsi, Ion Bishop, Rameez Raja and Anil Kumble.”
The third Pepsi Intern, @shyamsworld had a rollicking time too. His tweets suggest that the interns are not only attending gala dinners and watched the cricket matches live but also got an insight into the world of broadcasting. The knacks of live broadcasting and spider cams were also a part of their internship.
All three of them had a rich experience of the world of cricket, something that is only a farfetched dream.
Creating Engagement on Social Media
Soaring mentions of @ThatPepsiIntern handle and #ThatPepsiIntern hashtag have bombarded the online space with selfies, questions, excited responses and exclusive content. As soon as a video or a photo showcasing the life of a Pepsi intern goes up, users begin to start interacting.
The interns have created a series of vine videos to showcase their experiences during their internship and shared it with the fans. The videos showcase sharing personal space with cricketers and interacting with them as well as attending practice sessions with the cricket teams of Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians. Some other experiences included learning from Harsha Bhogle and Rameez Rajain the commentary box and attending exclusive Pepsi IPL7 gala dinner.
A golden opportunity to experience cricket from such close quarters was made real by Pepsi. The Pepsi Interns asked questions to famous cricketers on behalf of Twitter fans.
One of the most popular tweets was about Gautam Gambhir teaching an intern tips and tricks about cricket.
Various fun Vine videos were made to create engagement using Pepsi cans. This was a subtle way of creating brand recall as well as creating sharable content.
Along with Vine, Youtube was used to interview a number of cricketers. These were exclusive short video interviews which were easy to consume on social media.
Some of the many user reactions below:
Logistics and Planning
The interns confirmed that the logistics were taken care of very well by Pepsi’s team. For a campaign this massive, every detail needs to be planned efficiently. The visa process, ticket bookings, accommodation and meals should be well organized. From the interns we hear that they did not have to bother about a single thing as everything was smoothly processed by Pepsi’s travel agent. The quick turnaround time in receiving and sending back 3 interns in a period of 15 days between 2 countries is indeed commendable.
The experience offered to the 3 interns was inturn an experience offered to millions of users in India who were as excited and buzzed about the entire activity. Turning consumer the voice of the brand is probably the best way to promote a brand.
Confidence in Consumer
@ThatPepsiIntern instilled huge amount of trust in the 3 interns especially because of the open nature of the campaign. Anu Menon said, “I was given full freedom to voice my opinion about what I plan to tweet and Pepsi’s team never bound me in anyway.”
To be able to trust someone who is not a part of the branding and marketing team to be a voice of the brand is an active approach by the brand to showcase its confidence. Pepsi made itself transparent and in the process established brand advocates. Real people now advocate for the brand.
Clearly, Pepsi has retained its consumers and accumulated new ones.
Space for more
Pepsi tends to extend this hospitality by crowdsourcing 12 more interns for the matches in India -. Pepsi plans to give a new dimension to the campaign with the India Leg of IPL. The 6th @ThatPepsiInten, Diamond from Bangalore was also interviewed by the gorgeous Shibani Dandekar and was live on National TV.
Right now, users can apply on the microsite and get a chance to be chosen by the brand here. VIP access to all matches, fun tasks and the promise to meet and greet cricket enthusiast are the bonuses to be @ThatPepsiIntern.
Taking conversations beyond the web by effective use of social media and converting these conversations into revenue can only be achieved with such consumer focused campaigns. @ThatPepsiIntern is the pioneer of this kind of social marketing phenomenon.