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Generations grew up on Pepsi. From Michael Jackson's iconic commercial to Britney Spears singing "I love Rock'n'Roll," Pepsi has immersed in the carbonated mixtape known as pop music for decades.
“When we look at what Pepsi really stands for,” Simon Lowder, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo, told AdAge April 30, “we’ve been an entertainment platform for as far back as everyone can remember.”
Today, however, signing on an up-and-coming hitmaker -- which Pepsi just did with Nicki Minaj -- is just part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy. With a cacophony of voices competing for attention, brands have to be as mobile, social and dynamic as their audiences are. “It’s not enough anymore to have phenomenal TV ads," Shiv Singh, global head of digital for PepsiCo told Mashable April 30, "brands have to do more.”
Pepsi is taking their own advice to heart. On Monday, the No. 3 soft drink brand launched its new global ad campaign "Live For Now." In addition to traditional advertising, the campaign features a new online web portal -- hosted on Pepsi.com -- featuring a "Cheat Sheet" of the top 10 trending entertainment stories alongside real-time Twitter feed.
While many sites, including Newsweeek/The Daily Beast offer a daily Cheat Sheet of aggregated news from around the web, Pepsi's is strikingly different. By partnering with NewsCred, Pepsi's "Cheat Sheet" is able to feature fully-licensed, full-text articles, images and video from Reuters, the AP, Hollywood.com, BANG Showbiz, Critical Mob and MCT, among others. This partnership enables the Pepsi portal to function as both a hub of information and its host: yeilding a flexible forum that moves as fast as today's audiences demand.
While some wonder if a branded site can attract significant traffic, on the Pepsi side, this isn't much of a concern. "In the last few years we’ve seen people in general care less about the source of an experience or who’s creating the content," Singh told TechCrunch, "and more about the experience itself. People care less whether it’s a TV network that’s creating a really funny piece of video or whether a brand is."
Whether Red Bull or "Open Forum" by American Express, brands are increasingly skipping sidesaddle print and banner ads. Instead, they're creating targeted, relevant, compelling audience experiences, from the BMW Guggenheim Lab to Pepsi's "Cheat Sheet," that are redefining brand advertising.
Your move, polar bears.