PepsiCo tackles Super Bowl LI with multi-platform digital marketing play
- PepsiCo laid out its multi-platform marketing strategy for Super Bowl LI Tuesday. Part of the rollout includes a partnership with Snapchat for live content and in-game lenses, according to a company press release.
- Pepsi's Mountain Dew soft drink is also introducing two new flavors — Raspberry Citrus and Mango Lime — which come paired with an AR "Kickstart " Super Bowl experience that lets fans create their own mascots using virtual props. Fifteen-second videos featuring personalized mascots can then be shared on social media using the hashtag #KICKSTART.
- A separate PepsiCo release details an original content series titled "Game Day Grub Match," which pits three Tastemade chefs against each other in a competition for Super Bowl LI tickets. The show — available to watch at www.GameDayGrubMatch.com — runs three episodes and each dish made includes at least two Pepsi ingredients.
In the past, Super Bowl marketing was largely limited to, well, the Super Bowl. Game day ads were where brands drew most of their buzz, making attention-grabbing TV spots a core focus for marketers. But in an era of digital disruptions — and slipping TV ratings — a multi-platform approach might be necessary to capitalize on the hype leading up to the blockbuster event, as PepsiCo’s broad strategy for Super Bowl LI shows.
PepsiCo's approach this year represents a healthy mix of what's been proven to work in the past along with some fresher experiments. "Game Day Grub Match" is one of the more eye-catching new offerings, tapping Tastemade chef influencers (or "Tastemakers," per the release) to star in original branded content. Branded content, when done well, can go viral and take on a life all its own, and influencers have been shown to connect well with some audiences, giving off more genuine-feeling messaging than traditional tactics.
Tastemade will promote the new show across social channels, including through advertisements on its Snapchat Discover page, according to the release. The winner of the competition will then take over the Tastemade Discover page on game day to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the Super Bowl experience.
The AR Mountain Dew effort is also a bit cutting edge given how new the technology is, but Pepsi is smart in encouraging users to get creative in building their own videos to be shared on social. Other marketers are similarly leaning hard on the user-generated content angle this Super Bowl season. Intel is encouraging fans to create their own 360-degree video featuring Tom Brady, with the best images to be shared by the brand on Feb. 5.
Partnering with Snapchat was arguably Pepsi's safest play given how popular the brand's Gatorade sponsored lenses were last year, garnering an estimated 160 million impressions. While Gatorade was the standout for Super Bowl 50, Pepsi will likely see more stiff competition this year, as brand adoption of the platform rapidly accelerated in 2016 and since Snapchat is reportedly pricing Super Bowl ad packages at up to $5 million.
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