Pepsi uses mobile marketing for Youngistaan campaign

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | June 03, 2008
Pepsi is using SMS marketing, mobile communities, mobile portals and caller ringback tones to engage young consumers

PepsiCo & #BANNER1 & # is using mobile marketing to engage consumers with its Youngistaan concept and offering them a platform to share their definition of Youngistaan. MindShare, a GroupM agency which handles Pepsi's media duties, is handling the mobile campaign.

Vinod Thadani, regional mobile director, India and South Asia, GroupM, says, "Pepsi wanted to spread the attitude of Youngistaan among the youth. We opted for mobile marketing because the mobile is synonymous with the youth these days."

Pepsi's campaign on SMS 2.0
The campaign began in February and is being carried across various mobile platforms like SMS, WAP and voice. Mobile services like SMS 2.0 from Affle and (a free SMS service from Webaroo Technologies) are being used to enable consumers to express their opinions. A mobile portal and Youngistaan ringtone are also being offered to users.

SMS 2.0 is a text messaging application for GPRS based mobile phones. Users can download this free application from the mobile operator's portal. Currently, the service is available only on Airtel.

Once downloaded, SMS 2.0 allows users to compose and send messages in a similar way to the default SMS application which comes preloaded on mobiles. The difference is that it shows a banner ad at the bottom of the screen while composing or reading a message, and displays a full screen ad during the process of sending the message. Advertisements displayed through SMS 2.0 are interactive and based on the user's areas of interest, which can be specified while downloading the application.

The Pepsi Youngistaan campaign on SMS 2.0 was carried out in two phases. In the first phase, which was carried out from February to March, there was pure advertising. Young subscribers of SMS 2.0 were served a banner ad asking them to write in their views or attitude statements on Youngistaan, rate others' views and check out Pepsi's mobile portal.

Anuj Kumar, executive director, South Asia, Affle, says, "Views submitted on Youngistaan were shared with Pepsi, which were used to create new print ads for Youngistaan." Around 600,000 impressions of the ad were served in four weeks, which received a CTR (click through rate) of 5 per cent.

The second phase was carried out during April and May to coincide with the Indian Premier League tournament. Subscribers of SMS 2.0 who opted for cricket news were served IPL news alerts. Pepsi sponsored these news alerts by placing a banner ad which said 'Pepsi refreshes IPL' at the bottom of the alert. When a subscriber clicked on any such banner, he was directed to Pepsi's mobile portal. Around two million impressions were served in four weeks; the CTR was 3 per cent.

A community called Youngistaan has been created on to engage consumers with the brand. Around 8,000 users have already joined this community. is a free group messaging service available on mobile and the Internet. It allows users to join any existing group or create their own group and send free messages to all group members.

The Youngistaan community is used to inform members about the mobile portal of Pepsi and various offers related to the brand. It allows members to express their opinions on the concept of Youngistaan.

Pepsi has also launched a mobile portal developed by Mauj Telecom. Available at, the portal offers downloads of wallpapers, ringtones, screensavers and videos related to the brand. Around 6,000 items, including ringtones, wallpapers and videos, have been downloaded since the launch of the portal in March.

The Youngistaan song is being offered as a caller ringback tone (CRBT), available as an optional service on the mobile portals of operators such as Tata Indicom, Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL, Aircel and BPL Mobile. About 40,000 subscribers have opted for the Youngistaan song as their caller ringback tone.