Now or never

Written by Anushree Bhattacharyya | Updated: Feb 5 2013, 11:02am hrs
Pepsi readies its ammunition for this summers cola war with its new campaign for the impatient generation

It's now or never for Pepsi. At least that's how the beverage company interprets today's youth who believe in making the best of each moment and don't want to wait endlessly for the perfect moment. And, from this insight about the impatient generation comes PepsiCo India's latest campaign 'Oh yes abhi!' for its cola drink.

Every time we begin work for a campaign we look for whats the next big thing When you have a brand such as Pepsi which is a core part of a young persons life, you want the brand to reflect his ideologies. We started the research on this campaign with our agency, JWT, in the beginning of last year. As part of the process, we spent time with young consumers in India to understand what makes their hearts beat. It was an elaborate exercise wherein for the first six months we stayed away from any kind of advertising, said Homi Battiwalla, senior director, marketing (colas, juices and hydration), PepsiCo India.

Battiwala goes on to say that, traditionally, Pepsi has been a challenger brand. There is always a chance that 'challenge' gets misinterpreted with being competitive but that is not how Pepsi has played, he says. Pepsi has always challenged the conventional beliefs through its campaigns. For example, when we launched in India we challenged the fact that India is this beautiful eastern country and is a perfect mix of eastern and western cultures and so we launched the campaign Yehi hain right choice baby. We gave India its first Hinglish tagline. We challenged the rules of cricket last time, when we said, 'Change the game'. Through this new campaign we are challenging the belief that it always helps in being patient, he says.

The new campaign featuring brand ambassadors Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra from the world of Bollywood and cricketer MS Dhoni is already on air. A second television commercial will be launched in two months' time. Additionally, the beverage company will be rolling out an outdoor campaign with posters featuring all the three celebrities in a style which the company calls Pepsi surprise. A lot of consumers told us that they were bored with seeing a celebrity holding just a can, so the new posters shows all three celebrities in new avatar. For example, Priyanka Chopra is shown holding cold cans of Pepsi's against her cheek, added Battiwalla.

Interestingly, the company plans to install larger-than-life digital billboards, which will showcase social media streams. A campaign on its official Facebook page as well as on Twitter handle #can'twaitabhi has been launched. Also, a microsite called can'twaitabhi has been created to create and moderate conversations with youngsters on things they cannot wait for but want immediately. Eventually it will boil down to demonstration. For instance if some one tweets 'can't wait abhi for Pepsi and a pizza', then we will deliver it to the person. That is how the campaign will progress, says Battiwalla.