The Pepsi IPL Tweet 20 is back this year in its 3rd avatar as Pepsi tries to engage the IPL fanatics in an immersive game of T20 cricket on Twitter.
But is it different from its predecessors? Let’s delve into it as I review the campaign for you.
The objective of the Pepsi Tweet20 is very obviously to create a buzz around this year’s Pepsi IPL just like the previous two years.
But this time, it is being taken a notch higher than before.
The Race to Pepsi VIP Box – Branded Gratification
Over time, the Pepsi VIP Box has become a huge aspirational attraction for Pepsi IPL viewers. With a great view, VIP treatment and world-class amenities, it has become a coveted location for an IPL fan; and by keeping the Pepsi VIP box as the ultimate gratification, Pepsi has managed to draw in a lot of participants to play the Tweet 20 game.
It’s nice to see that a branded property has generated so much value that it can in itself attract people to participate in the game. There are no blingy iPhones or iPads up for grabs unlike other digital activations on social media.
Building a Branded Dashboard & Microsite
There are microsites that are built just for the sake of running a campaign, and then there is the Pepsi Tweet20 dashboard which is effective as well as a great platform for participants to engage with the brand. Branded in the hues of Pepsi’s color scheme, this is where all the action happens for Tweet20.
For those who have come across this campaign for the first time, the UI (User Interface) of the dashboard is pleasing to the eyes, fairly easy to understand and guides you through the registration steps.
They have also used videos to make sure that users don’t face any difficulty while registering.
The basic premise of Tweet 20 is that you play T20 cricket via tweets; an interesting concept which marries the madness of cricket with the highly buzzing nature of Twitter. How does Twitter fit in with cricket, you asked?
Well, once you have completed the registration, you will be able to play the game as you will be facing balls from Pepsi India in the form of tweets:
In response to these deliveries bowled by Pepsi, you will be given a huge array of shots that you can choose to play. The runs you score for a delivery depends heavily on the type of shot you choose. The more apt the shot is, the more runs you score. Poor selection can mean your dismissal.
So if you offer a ‘Square-cut’ to a full-length in-swinging delivery that is pitched on middle stump, you have more chances of losing the wicket than if you would have offered a ‘Straight Drive’ or just a ‘Straight block’.
Through Tweet20, Pepsi has allowed cricket crazy people to be a part of the game through a platform where technology drives the gameplay, which in turn results in engagement. Building a strong association with the cricketing extravaganza has ensured Pepsi that its branding takes a huge leap.
By offering you a stadium-like experience, Pepsi has made sure the everyone is a part of cricket in the IPL madness.
Using Technology to Integrate Gameplay with Tweets
Integrating the microsite with Twitter, has added a viral effect to the game. While playing the game, people Tweet out their shots with a branded hashtag which in turn results in a peer-influence phenomenon and builds the curiosity around the game amongst the followers. This, in turn, will possibly lead to an organic adoption of the game.
The technology and the idea behind integrating the game with tweets forms the crux of the entire campaign as it then takes place on a platform like Twitter that is already abuzz with conversations around the 7th edition of Pepsi IPL.
Moreover, relying on user-generated content is the best way Pepsi can market this game and keep their marketing costs low.
Features that Enhance User Engagement
Crowns and tasks are another add-ons that help users prolong their game. People can complete the tasks and get crowns which they can redeem later to either skill-up, get an extra wicket or a free hit to score more runs.
Simply put, these features help the participants score more runs and get closer to the VIP box.
For Pepsi India, these simple add-ons have managed to engage the users within the gameplay for more time. Time spent is a major metric for calculating engagement and Pepsi has managed to keep the users interacting with the dashboard even after the game is over.
This increased engagement will eventually add value to their branding.
Increasing Virality – Play it With Friends
To make the experience of playing cricket over Twitter exciting, Pepsi Tweet 20 has also integrated the feature wherein it allows players to invite their friends on Twitter and challenge them for a game of T20 cricket. The invite is sent in the form of a tweet and once accepted, the players can play a one-on-one game.
The format remains the same and each person bowls and bats alternate overs.
This feature will definitely shoot up the viral quotient of Tweet20 because of the interesting nature of the one-on-one gameplay. Also, since you are playing with a person, this makes it all the more competitive.
Because the game is being played out on Twitter, the mutual followers will also notice it and try it out. Once again the peer-influence phenomenon will be at play here and Pepsi will again see a heightened adoption of the game organically.
Enhanced Participation with Team Associations
This is an absolute masterstroke, as during the series, Pepsi India will invite two teams to play a one-on-one game of Pepsi Tweet20 against each other .
And because these teams have an immense reach on Twitter and by involving them in the campaign, Pepsi Tweet 20 will witness a massive surge in popularity.
You will also see followers of both the teams joining in the game and start cheering for their teams, thus increasing the engagement on Twitter by a huge factor.
Pepsi will be reaching out to whole new set of audience who will augment the viral effect of this game.
This year, the Pepsi Tweet 20 is bigger and better. The loyalists will definitely play the game and most of them will undoubtedly bring in their friends to play the game. I would be keenly watching the magnitude of the response once the teams start playing the one-on-one game on Twitter.
Overall, Pepsi has done a great job to avoid the redundancy by making the gameplay immersive in the 3rd year. It has made it a lot more interactive and engaging than it was before and I am sure it will generate tremendous returns for the brand.