Pepsi gamifies packaging with AR, gets consumers playing keepie-uppie

Pepsi has launched its 2020 international football campaign "#FORTHELOVEOFIT", which features four global football players and taps on AR to interact with football fans. The brand is releasing limited-edition packaging which features Paul Pogba, Raheem Sterling, Leo Messi, and Mohamed Salah across Pepsi and Pepsi Black/MAX cans.

Selected cans will have a QR code on them for consumers to scan and interact with mini AR versions of Messi, Salah, Pogba, and Sterling. Consumers will be able to play a game of keepie-uppie (where players have to keep a football up in the air for as long as they can) with the mini AR versions of the football players, and share their scores to their Instagram Stories.

The campaign also features by a 60-second ad titled "Play Never Stops" on Pepsi's social media platforms which sees Pogba, Sterling, Messi, and Salah using their football skills to fight for the last can of Pepsi. The ad garnered approximately 4,266 views at the time of writing.

The campaign will be activated in more than 80 countries worldwide with the tagline "Pepsi, for the love of it", which launched last year. The campaign also boasts behind-the-scenes content, a collection of limited-edition player-themed cans, and out-of-home and in-store point of sale materials across Pepsi and Pepsi Black. Pepsi Black is also known as Pepsi MAX in select markets worldwide.

In a statement to Marketing, a spokesperson from Pepsi said its campaign assets will be used globally throughout the UEFA Champions League season. All marketing platforms, including TV, will also be leveraged, depending on each market's needs. Pepsi declined to comment on the specific markets' marketing efforts. When asked how Pepsi chooses which football players to collaborate with, the spokesperson said the current featured players were chosen because they demonstrate the spirit of Pepsi's campaign theme "Play Never Stops" both on and off the pitch.

Meanwhile, Pepsi has also created a new online trend, the #PepsiCanBalance Challenge. During the filming of the ad for the campaign, Pepsi captured footage of the football players balancing the Pepsi cans on various surfaces such as the edge of a glass, on the right foot, on a football, and using their hands. Uploaded on Pepsi's Facebook and Instagram page, the footage has inspired netizens to replicate the challenge and balance cans of Pepsi. A quick check on Instagram by Marketing showed that there are currently over 1,000 posts on Instagram with the hashtag "PepsiCanBalance".

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This is not the first time Pepsi has gotten creative with its can's packaging. Last year, Pepsi reintroduced its limited edition retro cans, which date back to the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1980s. This was part of Pepsi’s “Celebrating Every Generation” campaign which was based on the insight that majority of consumers have a good recollection of Pepsi’s history.

Natalia Filippociants, vice president, marketing, global beverages, PepsiCo, said the campaign aims to play with the energy of the ad and provide entertainment, rather than show people being entertained. "We've taken some of the best football players, incorporated their cultural influences off the pitch, and put them in unconventional situations with unexpected twists and turns, with plenty of laughter and swagger," Filippociants added.

The featured football players said it was fun being part of the campaign. Messi said the campaign "will definitely not disappoint" with a new team of players, exciting challenges, and a fun and creative film, while Pogba added that he hopes the campaign will continue encouraging fans to embrace their passions and "go all in for the things they love".

Read also:
Pepsi takes fans back to the retro days by ‘Celebrating Every Generation’
Pepsi unveils new global tagline after 7 years to celebrate ‘pop and fizz’