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Pepsi picked a fight & grew brand consideration by 39%
In one of the best social campaigns of 2022, Pepsi picked a fight, wracked up over 3.6BN impressions and grew brand consideration by 29%. Want to know more? Read on 👇
Over the last thirty years, the top three burger chains in America have only served Coca-Cola. However, research revealed that 60% of people in the US preferred Pepsi, over Coca-cola, when eating a burger. Pepsi decided to do something about this, calling out the ‘big three’ burger chains with there ‘Better with Pepsi’ campaign.
Ref 1: The three biggest burger chains in America (see above) had only served Coca-Cola for the last thirty years.
So what did they do? Well working with an artist Pepsi, folded the paper bags of the ‘big three’ to reveal…their logo was there all along.
Ref 2: Pepsi worked with an artist to reveal their logo had always been there, hidden, in the bags of the ‘big three’ burger chains.
But how did this seemingly small tactical idea, go on to achieve 3.6BN impressions & a 29% increase in brand consideration? Let’s break it down 👇
#1 EXISTING CONVERSATIONS
On the surface, Pepsi’s campaign was fairly small and tactical. They released the ‘hidden’ Pepsi logo only for a brief period of time on social and on billboards. However, the way in which they realised the campaign was incredibly smart. Firstly, the billboards were placed directly outside of the HQ of the burger chains they were targeting. Why? Because they knew this cheeky gesture would more likely get traction with national press, giving their campaign extra reach.
Ref 3: Pepsi cheekily bought out-of-home placements, directly outside the HQ & flagship stores of the ‘big three’ burger chains.
Second, they didn’t just release the campaign on any old day. They released the campaign on ‘National Burger Day’. A day they knew there would be a lot of existing conversation they could tap into. A day they knew they had a better chance of being picked up by mainstream media, again giving them a much-needed reach boost.
Ref 4: Pepsi where smart in how they deployed their campaign. Releasing on ‘National Burger Day’ allowed them to gain much-needed extra traction & reach.
#2 SOCIAL FIRST
Pepsi’s campaign budget was relatively small. Especially when compared with the tens of millions spent on Super Bowl commercials every year, by the likes of Coca-Cola & other bigger brands. Despite this, they managed to get more ‘bang for their buck’ by being social first in their approach. The images they created were simple and powerful. They grabbed people’s attention & where easily shareable on social media.
Ref 5: Pepsi's social posts were simple & powerful, enabling them to be shared more easily online.
In fact, they resonated so much that posts were soon turned into memes & adopted by internet culture.
#3 PARTNER AMPLIFICATION
Pepsi’s cleverly capitalised on the campaign’s momentum via clever partnerships. If the ‘big three’ wouldn’t work with them then they would find other partners to collaborate with. So they turned to other, challenger brands (like themself), and worked together to challenge the ‘big three’.
Ref 6: Pepsi's partnered with other challenger brands (see above). Forming an alliance to take on the big three burger chains.
Working with smaller burger chains such as Fatburger, Johhny Rocket & Elevation Burger allowed Pepsi to increase distribution but also awareness of the campaign. Once again allowing them to grow the reach of the campaign & their brand.
Whilst this is a brilliant campaign, it does come with some caveats. Whilst it is a small, fun and fairly ‘viral’ campaign…it is incredibly tactical. This alone wouldn’t grow a brand long-term and should be part of a bigger, more long-term media mix. However what I do like about the campaign is that always aims to boost reach by tapping into an existing conversation, being shareable (ie social first) and via clever partnerships. And this is where many social campaigns fall down, focusing on engagement over reach.
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Finally, please excuse any typ0s…I’m proudly dyslexic.
Co-Founder | Strategy Partner