Pepsi started an emojis campaign to brand their product, but for the most part, they are using typical emojis – nothing exclusively connected to Pepsi. Some feel the new campaign is Pepsi’s slant on the Coca-Cola campaign where names were printed on their packaging. Pepsi’s using emojis instead of names. So instead of looking for your or a friend’s name on a bottle or can, you can look for an emotion and then share it with a friend. But a person’s name is very personal, an emoji is not.
As part of the campaign, they are creating a series of five-second ads using the emojis shown on bottles of Pepsi. The ads are targeting youth. Part of the reason for the short length is that attention spans have been shortened, so keep the message brief, end it with a hashtag created for that purpose, #sayitwithPepsi, and move on. The ads usually show one or more Pepsi bottles with an emoji front and center and participating in an activity like skydiving, attending a concert, or sunbathing. At the end of five LONG seconds, the emoji usually changes to the Pepsi logo.
There’s a simplistic cuteness to the ads, but no branding seems to take place in the process. Nothing happens or is implied that is remotely unique to the product. In truth, you could do exactly the same ads for any product, just change the shape of the container with the emoji and then use the logo for that product in the end and show the hashtag – #sayitwith_____ – you fill in the blank.
The ads might work better if they extended the time to 10 seconds and made a statement such as “take the jump to Pepsi” for the skydiving ad, or “feel the burn and then feel the bubbles” for the sunbathing one. At least then there would be a direct connection between the activity and the product. As it stands, five seconds go by rapidly, and if the commercials run on television, the likelihood they go unnoticed is high. Even if you follow the shortened attention span theory, a product still needs to first grab attention before it is lost. These ads are more of a filler, at least in a television format.
Many believe they will work best on the internet – used as popups on websites and social media. The brevity of the ads may indeed work better on the internet, but the lack of branding is still a problem. The primary PR firms who work for Pepsi are Ketchum PR & Porter Novelli.