afaqs!

A mass work out for a slimmer Diet Pepsi

By Abhishek Chanda , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | May 15, 2009
Diet Pepsi has decided to slim down and to do that, it has launched a consumer activation programme to announce the change

To announce the fact that the brand is slimming down it's cola can, Diet Pepsi has 'worked-out' an unique BTL (below-the-line) activity that saw consumers participating in a mass work out session with brand ambassador John Abraham. The activity, called Go Play John + You, was carried out in Phoenix Mills in Mumbai and Ansal Plaza in Delhi on May 9-10.

In fact, Pepsi maintains that it doesn't have any ATL (above the line) activities planned for this development and will promote the move through BTL. The campaign has been conceptualised by Celsius and Kidstuff - both divisions of Mudra Max.

& #BANNER1 & #The activity was divided into a number of pre-event programmes that lasted for about 20 days to build up the buzz, culminating in the final event. To participate in this initiative, consumers had to buy a Diet Pepsi, get a tag and dial the call centre number of Pepsi to register their names. The tag acted like a ticket for this activity.

To build up the activity, consumers and passers-by witnessed mobile hoardings (human volunteers) trooping through Delhi and Mumbai, carrying huge branded box-like rucksacks, creating buzz about the initiative.

These volunteers were seen in prominent youth hangouts and high visibility spots such as PVR Saket, Priya Complex, Greater Kailash Part 1, Defence Colony, Malviya Nagar, South Extension, Janak Puri and Rajouri Garden in Delhi and Worli Naka, Worli Dairy, Senapati Bapat Marg, Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Bharat Nagar, Mahalaxmi, Byculla, Parel and Lal Baug in Mumbai.

Following this, tagging at various clubs such as Café Morrison, Blues, Capitol, Sports Bar, Buzz and Mojo in Delhi and Hard Rock Café, Polyesther, Ivy and Bling in Mumbai, amongst many others, was leveraged to mobilise the youth in both the cities.

Amit Bajaj, manager, brand communication, Kidstuff Promotions, maintains that the tags were used as an advertising medium and were personalised to make the consumer feel that it was an invitation from the brand ambassador. In addition, 'Go Play John + You' branded tent cards and danglers were displayed at various youth hangouts and clubs. Stylised counter tops were displayed at various retail outlets.

The main event had music, aerobic troupes steering the audience and consumers sweating it out, while Abraham motivated them till the final unveiling of the Diet Pepsi Slim Can.

The mass work out session in Delhi saw 5,473 participants, with a total of 2,65,000 calories being burnt, while Mumbai saw 1,819 participants, with 1,00,045 calories being burnt. While the can will enjoy a national launch and be available in all metros and mini metros, the work out sessions happened only in the two cities. Bajaj claims that the pre-event activity generated close to 30,000 calls within two weeks of its completion.

The brand has also partnered with Conserve (a non-profit organisation), which aims to educate the youth about the importance of environment conservation. As a part of the partnership, an amount equivalent to the amount of calories burnt will be given to the organisation as Diet Pepsi's contribution towards creating awareness amongst the youth to protect and improve their environment.

This awareness programme will see a drive wherein special garbage bins for recycling will be placed at youth congregation points in Delhi and Mumbai. Volunteers from Diet Pepsi and the Conserve team will inform and create awareness about this cause amongst youngsters about the environment, hazards caused by plastic to the habitat and ways to improve the surroundings through recycling. Different bins will be placed for different disposable materials such as plastic, glass and metals.

On the launch of the product and the mass work out session, Sandeep Singh Arora, executive vice-president, Colas, PepsiCo India, says, "The new Diet Pepsi Slim Can is a perfect on-the-go beverage option for consumers who value fitness and yet want to enjoy the thrill of cola. The launch of the Slim Can further enhances the brand's youthful imagery and offers its consumers a sleek and compact beverage option.

"For the Slim Can launch, we wanted to give our consumers an unforgettable experience through this mass work out session. We are extremely happy with the response we have received today."

Vandana Verma, country head, Celsius, feels that the choice of a mass work out session had a lot to do with the slimmer version of the product. "The consumer could easily connect with the activity and the change in the product by engaging in such an unique effort," she adds.

When asked whether the lack of ATL and the choice of only two cities would limit the spread of the message, she says, "For this particular brand, the bulk of the business comes from the top metros. This, coupled with the fact that it is a chic product that is sold only to consumers above the age of 18, made an activity of this scale a natural choice."

Although Bengaluru was also a city of choice, the logistics did not allow the activity to be extended there. However, the social cause of the campaign has been extended to Bengaluru, too.