PepsiCo is among the world’s largest marketers – and, often large also means complex – so when its Pepsi Max brand wanted a digital campaign that panned across 18 European territories, it needed a 360° approach. And it was that 360° buzzword that fired up some fresh thinking at Scorch London – leading to an innovative use of technology that brought the audience in on the action.
Sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League was the opener, six young athletes provided the talent, and an innovative display of cutting-edge filming techniques (which included the largest custom-built rig in Europe) threw in a technology curveball. All this combined added up to a game-changing online campaign that delivered over 40 million views . . . with the highest Total Social Engagement score the brand had ever seen.
PepsiCo brand Pepsi Max competes in the energy drink space. And that’s not the only competition it’s involved in – with higher caffeine than its everyday offering but no added sugar, it’s enjoyed by sportspeople around the world. So PepsiCo’s partnership with the UEFA Champions League was a natural option for an exciting new campaign.
As it was the first time Pepsi Max had sponsored the Champions League, PepsiCo’s Senior Marketing Manager, D’Jamila Cardona, got in touch with Scorch London to create a campaign that was special, or as she called it, “Genius!” And as the beautiful game of football has a genius move of its own – the volley – Pepsi Max already had a very exciting focal point before they came to us.
A global marketer needs global reach, and this campaign had 18 countries on the brief. As there were multiple teams handling the rollout of the all-digital campaign across the different markets – some who were social media savvy, some who were not – PepsiCo wanted a toolkit of rollout instructions for each nation, so markets large and small could connect to consumers without any issues popping up along the way. As a London-based creative agency with deep digital smarts, it was a natural move for Scorch to captain both creative development and the 18-nation rollout. Here’s how we kept our eyes on the ball.
Fantastic team work and excitement from day one! Great understanding of our brand and the brief, delivering a great digital campaign for Pepsi Max within a very tight deadline. Amazing partnership and collaboration. Thank you team Scorch.D'Jamila Cardona, Senior Manager, Marketing at Pepsico
The interactive 360 VR version gained over 4m organic views
Scorch also produced an TV ad promoting Pepsi Max’s PS4 VR competition
One of the hardest moves in football is the volley, kicking the ball while it’s still in the air from a previous kick. Top players volley from incredible positions, leaping up, over, and around to engage the ball in midair (sometimes even doing backflips). It’s impressive enough to see all this on a flat 2D screen, but seen from the pitch – with the ballet of ballplay happening all around you – it’s incredible.
And that gave the Scorch creative team an idea. We came up with a strategy to create an innovative purpose built volley arena that captured all 360° of the action taking place inside. One problem: existing camera rigs weren’t big enough for the plan, covering a mere semicircle. So in just three weeks, Scorch were able to put together a vast 96-camera surround rig in a 70ft arena, purpose-built for Volley 360, as well as strategically positioning a VR camera in the centre of the arena.
Inspired by memorable volleys from Champions League games, Scorch then invited six young male and female athletes to strut their skills. They weren’t all footballers; they ranged from freestyle street entertainers to gymnasts and parkour traceurs. Video of their volleys – the impossible angles, the gravity-defying movements – would form the hero asset of a broad sheaf of creative. But could the athletes deliver?
Surrounded by six ball cannons, the athletes leaped, backflipped, ran up vertical walls – and delivered flying kicks that sent volley after volley into the net (and, sometimes, into the crowd). And thanks to our new technology, we were able to put Pepsi Max’s customers right in the centre of all the action.
On a tight deadline – just nine weeks from brief to rollout – the team created localised content for each European market: a teaser, the 75” hero asset in various versions, the fully immersive 360° VR video, all thumbnail images, linked content, social posts, and hashtags.
The campaign was rolled out across 18 European markets, and drove incredible engagement with the brand leading up to the UEFA Champions League Final thanks to detailed in-market customisation with our toolkit that tailored each part of the campaign to its local audience.
We delivered over 40 million views across Facebook and YouTube, with the 360° VR video alone achieving over 4 million organic views, and for a market leader in social and digital campaigns, we nonetheless delivered Pepsi’s highest ever Total Social Engagement Score – an incredible 8%.
When PepsiCo engaged Scorch, it was playing at a whole new level of the game, bringing the audience into the action and into the youth and energy of the Pepsi Max brand to boot. You could say the campaign met their goals and then some. If you’d like to score for your marketing strategy, why not get in touch? We’re ready to take you into a different league.