In the run-up to the ICC World Cup to be held in West Indies this March. PepsiCo India is entering into cross-promotional alliances with other brands. The marketing pitch revolves around its Blue Billion theme to support the Indian cricket team.
Vipul Prakash, vice-president-marketing, said the company was looking at a massive effort to reach consumers through different channels with like-minded brands.
“We have also tied up with Adidas, which is retailing Men-in-Blue cricket accessories such as T-shirts, wrist bands and we would be co-promoting it through a mutual deal wherein Pepsi consumers will get some offers. Similarly, we have tied up with Microsoft on its new game on the X-Box 360,” he said.
The company has also tied up with media partners such as Aaj Tak, SET Max, MTV and Radio Mirchi that will co-promote its ‘Cheer-A-Thon’ viral campaign and has Yahoo on board to help it maintain the site www.bluebillion.co.in.
Microsoft has already announced its plans to launch an exclusive game, Yuvraj Singh International Cricket 2007, for Indian consumers on its X-Box 360 platform as the event draws closer.
“We have tied up with Pepsi as it allows us reach into the key youth segment, wherein our console and game will be given out as an initial co-promotion deal,” said Mohit Anand, country manager (entertainment and devices division), Microsoft Corporation India.
The marketing logic is fairly clear. According to Rima Gupta, country head, Henley Centre, “The thinking among brands has progressed. Earlier, we found one brand piggy-backing the stronger brand for its distribution strength and presence to pave way for itself. Today, the relationship is more among equals. Brands realise that consumers flirt between different brands and categories and the big thinking on cross promotional deals is to catch them through different means in a win-win situation,” she said.
And this is working. To begin with, PepsiCo India claims that it has already got 7.5 lakh hits from cricket-crazy fans, who have signed on to wish the team luck.
To cap it all, the messages would be handed over personally to Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid by Shah Rukh Khan at a send-off event planned later this month.