Pepsi: Pepsi Unlocks Success with Golden Cans and Virtual Parties


Campaign Summary

Pepsi's Money Heist campaign achieved remarkable success by captivating the youth audience in India through a range of innovative strategies. Leveraging the immense popularity of the hit Netflix show, Pepsi introduced limited edition golden cans, collaborated with celebrities, hosted virtual parties, and created engaging online games. These efforts resulted in heightened brand awareness, increased sales, and an unprecedented virtual event that broke records.



Traditionally, Pepsi has been a challenger in the carbonated soft drinks category in India and faces stiff competition from other cola brands. This category is mostly consumed by youth, a target audience that constitutes half of India's 1.3 billion population. As a brand, Pepsi's key challenge was to constantly connect with this audience, despite a multitude of brands vying for their attention.

With a clear task of increasing penetration, Pepsi needed to up its game by establishing a connection with the youth, and celebrating their swag.

Target Audience:

Pepsi's Money Heist campaign targeted young audiences between 15 and 30 years old who are filled with confidence and want to face the world with a bold attitude. These are young people who are desperate to show that they are the best, but are somehow unable to do so due to external circumstances.

Creative Strategy:

The last two years were an unprecedented challenge for Pepsi, a brand that drove counter-cultural trends, to offer a relevant point of view without losing its trendsetting appeal. Staying silent in a country that had the youngest population compared to any in the world was simply not an option.

To build a connection with the youth, it was important to drive brand saliency and gain share of mind by riding the latest content consumption trends. The young audience has high receptivity when messages are conveyed through dance and music. Therefore, the objective was to create a common platform for the young audience and Pepsi.

The brand's desire to grab the target audience's attention using newer mediums heightened during the pandemic due to limited avenues for social interaction and engagement among the youth. Going digital-first was the choice, as consumers were binge-watching content like never before. And Pepsi, a brand known for adapting and riding on the latest trends, wanted to connect with its young audience by targeting this new consumer insight.

Pepsi rolled up its sleeves with swag and partnered with one of the most popular streaming platforms in the world — Netflix. To ensure the brand gained maximum visibility, Pepsi associated with the highly binge-watched show Money Heist as the show was coming to an end after a long, thrilling journey, and fans were desperately waiting for the final season.

Hence, the fandom of the show Money Heist became Pepsi's key to disrupt the market and reach millions. The brand strategy was to tap into the biggest digital trend — the rise in video consumption — and leverage the youth's excitement for the finale series of Money Heist. So, Pepsi announced a one-of-a-kind partnership dedicated to the fans and the popular Netflix show.

To ensure that the brand association leveraged the show's fandom, Pepsi activated all the consumer touchpoints where consumers watched, discussed, or followed content related to their favorite show. This included innovative packaging, a thrilling film, India's biggest digital influencers onboard, and partnerships with digital platforms for special combos and games.

In addition to this, the brand also established on-ground tie-ups that were amplified through digital promotions. This approach aimed not only to create a unique experience for the fans but also to provide them with great entertainment that Pepsi is known for.

This strategy helped the brand become the talk of the town, and the campaign was an overnight success as fans were thrilled about the unique partnership. Multiple media outlets covered the campaign, just like the show Money Heist. Pepsi's virtual event was also a massive hit, with unprecedented fan participation.


With the abundance of online content, viewers had numerous choices on OTT platforms and only selected content of personal interest. Pepsi's challenge was to associate itself with content that resonated with its target audience while igniting their enthusiasm. After careful scrutiny and analysis of various online platforms, Pepsi identified Money Heist as the content that viewers eagerly anticipated.


Overall Campaign Execution:

  • Pepsi launched a limited edition of 10 million golden cans across India to make the last season of Money Heist memorable.
  • An impactful launch event featured India's youth icon, Tiger Shroff, and the beloved Professor from Money Heist.
  • Renowned celebrities such as Karan Johar, Rohit Sharma, Tiger and Disha Patani, among others, were enlisted to announce the Pepsi-Netflix partnership.
  • Over 1,000 micro-influencers joined the campaign to add to the hype, making it as big as the show itself.
  • Pepsi partnered with food delivery platform Swiggy and organized a contest on their app, where consumers played a game to find Pepsi Money Heist bottles and win prizes.
  • Money Heist themed golden vaults were installed at selected Pizza Hut stores, challenging fans to engage and solve puzzles like the show's professor to win exclusive Pepsi golden cans.
  • The digital sensation Yashraj Mukhate composed a one-of-a-kind musical invite for the virtual party.
  • The campaign culminated in a Money Heist-themed virtual party hosted on Pepsi's YouTube page, featuring performances by mega-celebrities such as Nora Fatehi, Manish Paul, Vishal Sekhar, Tanishk Bagchi, and digital influencers.

Mobile Execution:

The brand aimed to tap into the significant rise in video consumption, capitalizing on the youth's excitement surrounding the final season of Money Heist. To ensure effective brand association, Pepsi activated various touchpoints where consumers watched, discussed, or followed content related to the show. This involved innovative packaging, branded content on TV and digital platforms, collaborations with India's biggest digital influencers, and partnerships with digital platforms for special combos and games. Additionally, the brand formed on-ground tie-ups that were amplified through digital promotions, delivering a unique experience to fans and showcasing Pepsi's commitment to providing great entertainment.

This strategy propelled the brand to the forefront of conversations, resulting in an overnight success. Fans were thrilled about the unique partnership, and numerous media outlets covered the campaign. The virtual event hosted by Pepsi garnered unprecedented fan participation.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Traditionally, Pepsi is a challenger in the carbonated soft drinks category in India, facing stiff competition from other cola brands. With the target audience consisting primarily of youth, who made up half of India's 1.3 billion population, Pepsi's key challenge was to continually connect with this audience amid fierce competition.

The Pepsi Money Heist campaign achieved historic success while celebrating India's favorite show. The campaign highlights included:

  • The Pepsi Money Heist Party set a global record with one crore fans in attendance.
  • The partnership TV commercial garnered 13 million views.
  • The campaign secured media value worth INR 39 million, with over 267 media features across lifestyle, entertainment, and regional media.
  • The campaign reached over 81.3 million people, bringing joy to 94 percent of users based on brand sentiment analysis.
  • The Swiggy homepage banner achieved a remarkable 16 percent click-through-rate.
  • Key brand consumer track scores reached new highs in target markets, such as a 16 percent increase in top-of-mind scores and a 30 percent increase in Youth scores in Q4 2021 compared to Q4 2020.
  • Brand consumption scores also showed significant improvement, with a 33 percent increase in past-4-week scores in Q4 2021 compared to Q4 2020.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Customer Experience (CX), Customer Life-Cycle Marketing | Awards: X Global Finalist