For Pepsi the line ‘Live For Now’ wasn’t just a campaign slogan, it was a mindset. With competitor Coca-Cola leading in engagement and follower base Pepsi knew it was going to take a smarter effort than ever to get the word out. Rallying the world’s online fans of the iconic Pepsi brand around the Live For Now spirit required them to tap into pop culture and the mindset of their target audience. Through extensive research Pepsi discovered that young people are more scheduled and anxious than ever: “I live in the now. Pop culture + internet culture are the languages I speak.” Based on these findings the challenge was then to convene the world’s online fans of the iconic Pepsi brand around the Live For Now spirit. Pepsi has always been deeply rooted in pop culture. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Beyoncé, and other superstars have all stumped for Pepsi.
A plan that wove Pepsi into popular culture in timely and authentic ways would give the target audience a constant and fun way to be reminded of Pepsi’s role in the world and their own lives. Social media channels — namely Facebook and Twitter — were the perfect way to deliver this content, ensuring that brand lovers would pass the Live For Now messaging along. The brand’s social agenda completely transformed, Pepsi was able to ensure that every posting exuded the Live For Now message. Pepsi livestreamed concerts from some of the world’s biggest recording artists of the day, namely Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry making them accessible exclusively through its social channels. Pepsi also moved away from polished, professionally shot images and traded them in for social quality photos. They found that people would ‘Like’ and share creative shots of Pepsi’s iconic packaging when they were ‘handmade’. What were friends posting?
A midnight showing of a highly anticipated movie? Shark Week? Pepsi was posting about it also. In a 30-day period of time, a rapid cadence of image-based branded content was developed making the brand an engagement leader on Facebook and Twitter long before other brands got into the microcontent game. Pepsi also implemented a detailed editorial agenda and calendar on Pepsi.com’s ‘Now Board’ creating a well-oiled Live For Now social content machine. Within a 30 time period Pepsi experienced a 114% jump in average post engagement, a 1133% jump in Viral Reach and were able to initiate the Live For Now conversation with 46 million unique users. The campaign drove not only engagement but actual sales with an incredible 3:1 revenue to investment ratio directly attributed to the campaign. Today Pepsi is winning the engagement cola war. Pepsi’s fans are active 42% longer than Coca-Cola’s. Pepsi has almost twice the ratio of fans who have engaged more than once. And while only 0.8% of Coca-Cola’s users have engaged with their page, 5.3% of Pepsi’s have engaged with theirs.