- Pepsi declared an unofficial start to summer on Monday with the launch of #Summergram, according to a press release. The campaign makes available hundreds of summer-themed custom augmented reality (AR) filters on Instagram that are unlocked via QR codes. Hundreds of digital Pepsi #Summergram stickers will also be available on Instagram.
- The themes — including "Turnt Not Burnt," "Catching Rays" and "Call Me on My Shell Phone" — will appear as graphic icons and QR codes on more than 200 million bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Zero Sugar. #Summergram statements and icons will also appear on 30 million fountain cups at restaurant and food service partners.
- The campaign is being propelled by launch events in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. In New York, a six-story flamingo floatie will travel around Manhattan, and an evening celebration will be hosted by model Chrissy Teigen and producer DJ Khaled. In addition, the AR filters and summer occasions will be showcased across 25 TV commercials and thousands of custom out-of-home (OOH) billboards.
This newest Pepsi campaign — the brand's latest to incorporate AR filters — represents a major commitment to Instagram’s trend-setting popularity with media integrations across multiple channels, including online, print, TV and OOH. While Instagram continues to grab a significant share of brands' investments in influencer marketing and paid social ads, the breadth of the Pepsi effort points to how savvy marketers can leverage Instagram's popularity and visually-driven user experience to integrate experiences across a multitude of channels.
The big bet on Instagram is likely an attempt to grab the attention of younger consumers, with Piper Jaffray research revealing that Gen Z prefers the platform when hearing from brands, at a time when soda sales, in general, are suffering. The summer campaign could provide a much-needed boost to the company's soda business, with sales volume down even though sales revenue grew thanks to higher prices. Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo's CFO, told CNBC that stronger advertising is one reason for a display of strength in the company's North American beverage business during the first quarter.
The campaign also hits several other trendy marketing tactics, including enhanced packaging to drive brand engagement, OOH marketing and celebrity-influencer collaborations with social media-friendly figures Teigen and Khaled.
Summer marketing campaigns are a tried-and-true strategy for big brands hoping to remain top-of-mind during a period when consumers traditionally spend more time outdoors and participate in social gatherings. PepsiCo follows Macy's in betting on social media and mobile as a way to tie physical and digital experiences together to reach on-the-go consumers.