Crowd Sourcing the Brisk Brand.

Pepsi the parent company for Brisk Tea is teaming up with Instagram to crowd source a series of new limited-edition can designs for the Brisk brand. By tagging pictures you post to the Instagram application with the hash tag  #briskpic in their users will enter their image into the contest and be featured on

The can design winner will be announced at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas this March.  Frank Gruber over at Tech Cocktail interviewed PepsiCo’s Jamal Henderson in NYC at the Brisk25 Summit for the inside scoop on how the project is going and what Brisk has learned:

I think the overall idea is good, and pairing with Instagram is a smart choice – giving users a chance to be a part of the brand is nice, but attaching it to a popular platform that people are already playing on and expressing themselves is what ultimately raises the level of participation. It will be interesting to see the end results from consumer participation, and brand exposure in the long run from this.

Coke’s “Happiness Machine” Viral Video Campaign.

Like Pepsi’s Refresh Project, Coke is venturing into the viral marketing and social media space for advertising to a younger audience that is less connected to traditional media sources, and more in tune to spaces like YouTube.

Coke’s new “Happiness Machine” video is their first globally distributed video produced exclusively for a viral marketing campaign.  The video has racked up more than 740,000 unique views since launching on YouTube on January 12th.  Developed and produced by Definition 6 from Atlanta, the video ties directly into Coke’s global “Open Happiness” campaign, and to this point has not been used in any TV advertising. The distribution and marketing of the video has been limited to a global Tweet and Facebook page announcement with hooks directly back to the YouTube video.

“The video was conceived as a way to connect with teens and young adults outside of TV ads and online games. We wanted to give them something that would spread a bit of happiness and something they could pass on to their friends to keep the happiness flowing.”. A.J. Brustein, Global Senior Brand Manager at Coca-Cola,

What makes this video significant to the industry – is that it marks the brand giant’s first global viral effort.  While some regional Coca-Cola markets have produced videos intended for viral distribution (A specific Spanish language Christmas video produced for Mexico), this is the Coke’s first global attempt at a purely viral, digital campaign – without the support of high-penetration TV, and support media.

Coke’s hope is that this first viral effort will be deemed successful enough to lead to more viral campaigns in the future.  In addition the hope is that it will also serve as a case study for the brand and subsidiary brands for an industry that is already looking to digital efforts to deliver against targeted objectives where Television advertising, and its often distracted audience, tends to fall short.

“A Coca-Cola vending machine is transformed into a happiness machine delivering “doses” of happiness. Where will happiness strike next?”

Social Media Advertising, Super Bowl XLIV, and The Pepsi Refresh Project.

Tonight during the Super Bowl, one of the consistent advertisers will not be present. Pepsi, is forgoing paying millions of dollars to run traditional 30 second spots, in favor of the social media “Refresh campaign” they launched almost two weeks ago.Personally I think it is a brilliant move on Pepsi’s part, and I hope that it proves to be a huge success for them. If it does, this marks a turning point in the way Social Media advertising will develop over the next few years.

Last Wednesday night at “Reinvention from the Ground Up”, sponsored by Razorfish, Bonin Bough, Global Director of Digital and Social Media at PepsiCo – provided valuable insights based on the brand’s significant accomplishments – and arguable leadership position in the space.  From the decision to launch the Pepsi Refresh campaign to the Dewmocracy initiative that crowdsourced the Mountain Dew line’s new flavors, PepsiCo’s assertive moves in the social media space provided an insightful case study from a Global CPG consumer brand and icon.

Given the evolving nature of the social media space, few conclusions were reached during the panel.  But PepsiCo offered some key insights based on their experience, and on their philosophy on integrating the medium holistically within their Global marketing organization.  Some of these thought-starters included:

  • Use the same success metrics for social media as for your overall marketing campaign.  Pepsi focuses on capturing consumer perception of key brand attributes (i.e., are people talking about Gatorade as a performance beverage), engagement, and cultural relevance (are they in the cultural conversation)
  • Crowdsourcing product development via Dewmocracy resulted in the most successful limited time offers (LTOs) ever – PepsiCo will launch a second round of this campaign
  • The real-time conversations taking place in the social media and digital space offer the richest resource for consumer insights and innovation – but require a process by which to monitor
  • How do you get your company and brand to evolve from a focus on impressions as a measure of media efficacy, to connections and engagement with consumers?
  • Rather than trying to shift more dollars into social media, refocus the discussion to reevaluating and optimizing how you use – and measure – each vehicle within your existing plan and budget.  For instance, capture how your TV spot drives emotional engagement with your audience, vs. purely how many impressions it garnered.  Use the reach offered by your TV spot to invite your consumers into the brand, and extend this emotional engagement across channels based on how your consumer interacts across each.
  • As a Global brand, Pepsi structures marketing teams differently to address fragmentation:
  • International markets will require different approaches: for instance, Pepsi’s participation in the World Cup will be much more important for its performance in Europe than in the States
  • Within the social media space, one group at Pepsi focuses on the 90% of consumers that act as participants in the social media space, while another might focus on the 10%that act as creators – and thus have different needs, preferences in how they interact in the space