With the Cricket World Cup round the corner, all brands are trying to cash in on the event, given the following that the sport has in India. Pepsi, which had launched its Blue Billion marketing campaign in September 2006, has taken this a step further by introducing a limited edition of Pepsi Gold, which has a taste of Pepsi with a lemon topnote. Along with the new taste, this new variant has a golden colour to go along with a similar packaging.
The brand, known for its celebrity intensive commercials, has used both film and sports celebrities along with the cricket fans, for this campaign. The TVC designed by JWT is scheduled to hit the screens on March 7, and revolves around the passion for cricket shown in the country during the matches. Along with the TVCs, there will be promotions for the products on radio, internet along with BTL activations and other in-store promotions.
Speaking about this campaign, Punita Lal, Executive Director, Marketing, PepsiCo India, said, “We have always done Bollywood and cricket before. But fans have never been used before. This time it is the confluence of all the three that will be different from the previous years.”
A host of marketing initiatives have been planned to back this new launch, ranging from lenticular POS that showcases the Pepsi Gold bottle morphing into the World Cup trophy, to miniature replicas of the World Cup trophy, which will be given away on purchase of the Pepsi Gold 600ml PET pack.
Talking more about the benefit derived by Pepsi from the associations with Adidas and Xbox, Lal observed, “Both are youth brands and since so are we, this association strengthens our perception as a youth brand. Moreover, they are leveraging our property – Blue Billion. It works for me and it works for them.”
Eyeing this upcoming Cricket World Cup as a brand building activity, Lal added, “We are trying to associate the brand with the sport of cricket during this time and are not looking at high sales targets.”
Associations with Adidas and Microsoft Xbox are also in place as part of the Blue Billion campaign. There would be the ‘Blue Billion’ fan gear and gaming consoles sold by the respective players. Pepsi Gold, slated to hit the stores soon, will be available only around the Cricket World Cup duration of March and April and is priced at a premium.
Pepsi had previously too launched a limited edition variant during the 2003 Cricket World Cup, which Lal claims to be the most successful variant for the brand. In the past in international markets, the cola player had launched variants for the brand during the soccer world cups.
Pepsi had also organised a farewell for the Indian cricket team on February 27, 2007, with musical entertainment by Shankar Mahadevan and Adnan Sami. The event also witnessed a host of Bollywood celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra, who wished the team wishes for the upcoming World Cup tour. Winners of the Blue Billion contest, run on the Blue Billion website, were also present at the event.