It took a while, but the party from Ibiza did make an appearance at the top of the Mint-Ipsos-TVAdIndx survey, for the month of May.
The television commercial, which is part of PepsiCo India’s Jaisa Mood, Waisi Pepsi campaign, features two young men who walk into a loud party in Ibiza. Just as they are beginning to enjoy the music and the crowd, they spot someone familiar. And are shocked to see people they least expected there. Which leads one young man to ask the other, “Is this Ibiza or Etawah?” To which the other replies, rather irritably, “Pepsi thi, jeet gaya (they are here thanks to Pepsi).” The interesting thing about the entire campaign is that the facial expressions are all demonstrated through emojis.
The PepsiMoji campaign, created by JWT India, was launched during the ICC World Twenty20 tournament earlier this year. “This is the age of expression and with the amount of time consumers are spending online, we are seeing a revolution in this space. With two billion global smartphone users sending six billion emojis daily, we are thrilled to have our iconic brand bring a unique take to this truly global phenomenon. Jaisa Mood, Waisi Pepsi came to life in the real world in the most unexpected ways, moving beyond the digital world into the physical world,” says Vipul Prakash, vice-president, beverage category, PepsiCo India.
Unlike most brands, he adds, the campaign first kicked off at the product level. “We started with the Pepsi bottle. It was very clear that our packaging was our biggest asset. Unlike other categories where consumers just peel off the packaging and throw it away, here the consumer was on average spending 10-30 minutes (holding on to the packaging) during the entire consumption exercise. So we launched the bottles with the different emojis, 30 days before the television commercial,” says Prakash.
That was the first stage of the campaign. In the next phase of the campaign, which this particular advertisement is a part of, the company decided to reward consumers by offering them a chance to win everything from a trip to Ibiza to a meeting with its brand ambassador, cricketer Virat Kohli. The ads took inspiration from the tendency to attribute success to “luck”. “Only, in this case, that envy came out in a nice way, as the good luck was attributed to Pepsi, with the characters saying “Pepsi thi, jeet gaya,” says Prakash.
As a part of the marketing exercise, the PepsiCo Design and Innovation Center had also created hundreds of proprietary PepsiMoji designs for a universal language system for the brand. In India, consumers were able to find 38 PepsiMoji designs, including eight unique designs—from the traditionally turbaned man, the quintessential lunch dabba and popular snacks like dosas and samosas, to the tabla, and celebrities like Virat Kohli and actor Ranbir Kapoor.
Some felt the approach should have been tweaked a bit to make it more relevant, especially to young consumers who are constantly seeking new things.
“To my mind, this campaign is coming in a little late. Emoticons were the rage two years ago, and many brands from categories such as chocolate to liquor have used them to their advantage. So it appears a little old and jaded.
“Having said that, while the idea may appear a little dated, the brand could have borrowed some interest by making it more topical. For instance, there is a company that explains film storylines, purely with the use of emoticons, which is an interesting application of something that is popular and common,” says K.V. Sridhar, chief creative officer, SapientNitro India, an integrated marketing and technology agency.
The company, however, was optimistic about the impact of the campaign.