Pepsi IPL6: From Tweet20 & TV To Gaming Engines & FanCans

With Season 6 in full swing, you can’t escape title sponsor Pepsi’s integrated, multi-platform IPL activation.


The campaign has such breadth and depth that it is a challenge just to keep up with all of its many strands and elements.


Pepsi’s first activation of its new rights as IPL 2013 title sponsor began well before the season started when it ran an online cricket-themed question competition offering a VIP trip to February’s IPL Auction.


Then in March, before the first ball was delivered, Pepsi’s main launch campaign – ‘Koi Nahi Bachega’ – rolled out leveraging the Indian the Indian festival of colours ‘Holi’.


Developed by ad agency Ogilvy and Mather Mumbai, the campaign uses team kits to blend the festival of colour with the festival of cricket.


It aims to both drive and reflect the fun and thrill, manic excitement and anticipation for the IPL that is felt across the country.


This initial official 1 minute 20 second ad, which came with a reworking of the classical song ‘Sara ra ra, Koi nahi bachega’, featured different cricket fans dressed in the colours of their favourite IPL team.


Produced by Cyrus Pagdiwala, with a score by Ehsaan Loy and lyrics by Ila Arun, the central TV spot (which comes in an HD version) blends the festival of colour with the festival of cricket.


It features a cricketer putting on his shoes with thick blue liquid gushing out, followed by a shot of fans dancing against a bright blue montage while a boy throws a can of red colour at them. A crazy colourful chase ensues.



Supporting vivid print work is similarly colour focused.


The creative approach echoes a slew of current TV ads – both within and beyond the sports sector – that are using colours, paint and even Holi as their creative fulcrum.


For example, Adidas’ recent new shirt launch campaign ‘Chelsea Blue’ sees players including John Terry, Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and David Luiz covered in blue paint to promote the club’s new strip.



While the the current Sony Xperia Z smartphone global TVC, focused on rpmoting its vivid colour screen and waterproof features) also features the Indian festival of colour Holi.



As the season opener drew closer, Pepsi then launched its core IPL 2013 ‘Pepsi Oh Yes Abhi’ website – which acts as a central live hub for all the brand’s 2013 season campaign elements.


The idea behind the ‘Oh yes Abhi’ approach is to reflect the idea that the Pepsi IPL is all about the fans and the fun campaign is dedicated to the way cricket lovers follow the tournament.


This approach is captured by ‘Oh yes Abhi’ TV ads – such as this one featuring Ranbir Kapoor.



One major activation strand which can be accessed through this online hub is the innovative Pepsi IPL ‘Ka Boss’ gaming initiative.


This engagement-led competition, which offers every day and every week prizes, it is essentially a gaming engine that syncs all of Pepsi’s social pages and IPL initiatives and enables consumers to score runs by engaging with Pepsi India across any platform.


Players simply need to sign in through the Facebook registration page and then interact with the brand (and thus play) on whichever platform suits their needs at that time.



A key strand of the Boss gaming initiative is the Tweet20 twitter game.



Based on consumers using Twitter to make shot predictions and gives highest scoring winners the chance to watch matches from the Pepsi VIP Box. Basically, the brand’s twitter handle bowls tweets, while the consumers who follow it tweet back with the bat.


This highly innovative new gaming mechanic shows that fantasy leagues aren’t the only way to gamify a sport throughout a season.



This engaging experience is an initiative, which is customised towards each individual team, offers the prize as an incentive to follow @PepsiIndia and sign up to the brand’s IPL services.



Pepsi’s wider digital platforms are also set-up for quick response work in real-time – such as its tribute to Chris Gayle’s fastest cricket century ever which was turned round and running on the brand’s IPL Facebook page (which boasts 4.4m Likes) within a few hours of the record innings.


Other elements of the wider integrated campaign include the limited edition gold coloured 500ml Pepsi IPL ‘Fan Can’. Launched as a piece of product IPL memorabilia and aiming to ensure that the 2013 IPL is the ‘fizziest season till date’, it marks the first time that a 500 ml can has been introduced by any major soft drink brand in India.



In addition to its league title sponsorship and position as exclusive beverage partner, Pepsi has also has deals with eight individual IPL teams for the 2013 tournament.


These are also being activated through localised marketing – including team-specific TV work.





Pepsi’s umbrella cricket marketing strapline, ‘Change the Game’, will continue to underpin the activation


The brand is using the biggest and most powerful Indian platform – cricket – to take on big rival and marketing leader Coca-Cola.


PepsiCo has signed up as the IPL’s title sponsor for the next five years with a bid reported to be worth Rs 396.8 ($72m) and beating out telecoms giant Airtel in the process (who reportedly offered $57m).


This sum is around twice the IPL’s original title sponsorship deal signed by India’s leading real estate company DLF back in 2008.


The figures themselves show the growing power of the Indian platform.


‘So far our record of selling various properties of IPL has been very good,’ says IPL governing council chairman Rajiv Shukla. ‘We have doubled, tripled or quadrupled the amount while selling some of the properties.’


Gautham Mukkavilli, Beverages CEO for PepsiCo India says that in a country where ‘cricket was a religion’ the IPL has become the ‘most revered temple where the faithful flock to.’


The franchises themselves believe the new deal, both in terms of the finances and the involvement of a global heavyweight brand, will be positive for the competition.


Raghu Iyer, the chief financial officer at Rajasthan Royals, said the new title sponsorship will ‘ignite the market’ for the franchises.


‘It is absolutely double the initial value, when what was expected was one-half-times what DLF paid. The IPL needed this kind of positive reinstatement from a global brand like Pepsi.’


Venky Mysore, the CEO of Kolkata Knight Riders, said the title sponsorship would add ‘tremendous value’ to both the league as well as the global beverage brand.


‘It is terrific news that they have come on board. Pepsi would have done their homework. They know their numbers and they would have clearly seen some value.’




Pepsi IPL Central Website



Pepsi IPL tweet 20



Pepsi IPL Indian Facebook



Pepsi India Twitter






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