PepsiCo India: Pepsi Crashes Cricket in India

Campaign Summary

In order to boost brand love and sales, PepsiCo India invited its audience to "crash the IPL," one of the biggest cricket events in India. Fans submitted their ideas for Pepsi ads online and then voted for their favorites, with the five best ads featured during the IPL. Ultimately, the campaign was successful in increasing brand love, sales, and cultural awareness.


Objective and Context:

Drawing close to 200 million viewers, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of most anticipated and significant cricket events in India. PepsiCo India, a presenting sponsor of the IPL, noticed that sales volumes and brand love scores had remained stagnant in the last several years. Pepsi needed to retain cultural awareness and relevance.

Target Audience:

The core audience was 18- to 25-year-olds who were digitally savvy and hungry for fame.

Creative Strategy:

The idea was simple: let the consumers create the content. Pepsi invited its audience to submit their ideas for Pepsi ads through the website Then the audience would vote for their favorites, with the five best ads featured during the IPL broadcast.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Pepsi needed to get millions of consumers — not just the participants — interested, excited, and involved. Pepsi drove traffic to through direct mailers and mobilizing key opinion leaders on social. The brand also ensured a constant and steady stream of buzz by giving each winning entry a full week’s run across both digital and TV. Pepsi invited viewers to select the last of the five winners via a real-time Twitter face-off.

Pepsi used these tactics to make the “Crash the IPL” campaign a success:

  • Toolkit: Pepsi started with as a resource hub, complete with brand codes, looks, sounds, brand clips, consumption shots, and video clips.
  • Advice: Going beyond the website, Pepsi partnered with YouTubeFanfest to gain access to eight content creators. The creators were used as mentors for the target consumers, chatting with them via Google Hangouts, releasing their own social assets, and creating a “virtual studio” with creative assets and a media handbook.
  • Social Command Center: A command center was specifically created to monitor, analyze, and act in real time during live events.
  • Adaptive content: Pepsi identified optimal intervention points and activated live initiatives, such as topical creative on the go, brand responses, and retweets, to ride the wave. The content leveraged trending topics and fed into whatever was top of mind with the audience at all points.

In addition, Pepsi kept three principles in mind while executing the campaign:

  • Timing: With the attention spans and interest shelf lives of a few seconds, this gave fans an opportunity to respond to or take part in trending conversations.
  • Admocracy (Democracy in Advertising world): Pepsi let its consumers decide which ads would get aired during the IPL.
  • Authenticity — Push vs. Pull: Pepsi planned to leverage its brand advocates to get maximum reach and impact for the content.
Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Crash the IPL became the largest and most successful crowdsourced advertising campaign in Indian history, with more than 2,700 ads generated across five weeks. Pepsi reached 68 million consumers and enjoyed over Rs.90 million worth of free PR. On digital, Pepsi engaged with 27.2 million consumers and trended on Twitter eight times in five weeks. Brand love scores increased by 7 percent, youth scores by 5 percent, and trend-setting scores by 4 percent over the course of the campaign. Crash the IPL was recognized as one of the "Top 5 Greatest Campaigns Ever" by YouTube India.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Cross-Screen Advertising | Awards: Finalist