Pepsi invites consumers to play 'The Game'

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | March 26, 2010
Pepsi has roped in Bollywood actor, Sanjay Dutt, to join brand endorser, Ranbir Kapoor, in a promotional campaign to engage consumers

Pepsi, in yet another effort to woo youngsters, had launched the 'Youngistaan ka wow' campaign on March 1, with a commercial that had brand endorser, Ranbir Kapoor tricking some security officials and drinking Pepsi meant for the president.

To further the 'Youngistaan ka wow' positioning, the soft-drink major is out with an initiative called The Game -- a contest of sorts which will involve consumers through advertising.

The Game involves a young boy in search of his Pepsi -- namely Ranbir Kapoor -- and some tests he has to pass in order to seize his drink. Enter a 'Game Master' -- Sanjay Dutt -- who would pose questions to Kapoor, pertaining to Pepsi and Youngistaan.

The Game is set in a fantasy world, and all the action takes place in a castle owned by the Game Master, who 'challenges' youngistaani Kapoor to get his Pepsi from his lair. Kapoor has to pass three levels of questioning, after which he would win the drink.

The questions and the whole setting will be unveiled to consumers in the form of television commercials. Consumers have to help Kapoor select the right answers from the choices provided, thereby getting him closer to his Pepsi.

The payoff for one lucky viewer (chosen by lucky draw amongst those who give correct answers) is a prize of Rs 50 lakh; scores of other participants can avail prizes including free talk-time, song downloads and ring tones. Those who answer correctly at all levels stand a chance to win Rs 50 lakh, by succeeding in the final tie-breaker slogan challenge.

The Game is played over five films with three levels, each ending with a brainteaser. Three options are given for each riddle; and to play, one has to call/SMS 'game' to 09327272727 or log on to

A teaser film, which will be released on March 27, attempts to create buzz around the five-week activity. It will feature Kapoor and Dutt, along with Dutt's muse, Jacqueline Fernandes (who essays the character of the 'Wow Girl').

The actual 'game' will commence on March 31 during the IPL matches. Thereafter, every Thursday, a new question will be provided for consumers to solve (during the matches), to help get Kapoor closer to his drink. The grand reveal is on April 27 (the fifth commercial), when Kapoor will finally get his drink, while the winners of the contest will also be declared.

Sandeep Arora, executive vice-president, marketing, PepsiCo India, tells afaqs!, "This is one more way for us to reinforce our brand proposition of 'Youngistaan ka wow', a thought that captures the zest and drive of the go-getter young generation. It is an effort to build participation, to entertain, engage and involve consumers, and to shift from the regular passive advertising one sees on television into the area of brand engagement."

According to Punita Lal, executive director, marketing, PepsiCo India, with The Game, Pepsi brings together gaming to TV advertising and thereby, forges connections with the youth. "We are confident that The Game will not only attract eyeballs owing to its entertainment value, but also drive participation amongst youngsters, due to the concept and thrill it promises to deliver," she says.

The commercials will feature magical sets, action-sequences and special effects. Special effort has also gone into creating the looks of the characters. While Kapoor sports an active, cool look; Dutt as the Game Master will be seen in a costume and hairstyle straight out of a video game.

Apart from the TV commercials, there will be a big thrust on online media, including social networking sites. The initiatives include live chat with Kapoor on Facebook on April 2, 2010, and a customised The Game skin on the Orkut page on March 31. Furthermore, download items and other information will be made available on

The creative idea for The Game has been conceptualised by JWT India, and the team which has worked on the campaign includes Hari Krishnan and Soumitra Karnik. The media planning has been done by Mindshare; while the ad films (shot in elaborate sets created at Filmistan, Mumbai) have been produced by Sunil Manchanda of MAD Films and directed by Marco Kalantari.

© 2010 afaqs!