Shibani Gharat

Pepsi's shortcut to be a crorepati

With the aim to engage consumers at the onset of the festive season, PepsiCo's new promotional campaign offers a short cut to become a millionaire.

The thought of becoming a 'crorepati' is on the wishlist of everyone. As soon as there is an announcement of a new season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), several fingers tap the keys of the phone to dial, or to send a message across to the most popular phone number in India. The efforts do not stop at an SMS, or cease at a single phone call, but continue until a contestant finds himself on the hot seat of one of the most popular shows on Indian television. This entire activity culminates into the aspiring contestant going on to win a good amount of moolah.

But, PepsiCo has shortened the entire procedure. The company has launched an initiative that provides a chance to win a crore of proceeds.

Pepsi's shortcut to be a crorepati
The drill

A prospective contestant has to purchase a large KBC special Pepsi bottle; look behind the label for a simple multiple-choice question, and sms the right answer with the unique code to a given number. A randomiser will choose a winner of this contest.

The name of the winner will be announced on November 16, 2011, in a special episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati, on Sony TV. Besides this, every day, three persons can win a gold coin each, while twelve persons can win silver coins.

This entire activity is supported by a promotion campaign. The first promotion in line was a TVC launched on Sony. Featuring the father-son duo of Ranbir Kapoor-Rishi Kapoor, the TVC was fully unveiled on September 15, 2011, when (Ranbir) Kapoor visited the KBC sets. The TVC revealed the 'Pepsi Ek Crore Ka Shortcut'.

Pepsi's shortcut to be a crorepati
A teaser ran on Sony, as an extension of the show KBC, for a period of 10 days, prior to the unveiling of the full-fledged TVC.

Directed by Ayan Mukherjee, the commercial character sketches the junior Kapoor as a laidback youngster who has to listen to the continuous taunts of his father about becoming successful in life. (Rishi) Kapoor, on the other hand, plays a concerned father, who wants his son to work hard if he wants to be a crorepati. His son, however, has learnt of a shortcut to acquire money.

In the campaign, the Kapoors shared the screen for the first time together.

JWT is the creative AoR for PepsiCo. The creative director for the campaign is Surjo Dutt, associate vice-president and senior creative director, JWT, with Shiladitya Moulik as copy writer, while the art direction has been managed by Gaurav Verma.

Speaking about the campaign, Dutt tells afaqs!, "The campaign draws a connect with the youth. Youngsters do not want to take a longer route and have limited patience. They want shortcuts, and PepsiCo offers them that short cut.

Drawing an analogy from the 'Change the Game' campaign of Pepsi, Dutt says, "Pepsi changes the game each time. This time, the brand gives a chance to win a crore of rupees, sitting at home, and changes 'the Crorepati game' for you, once again." He says the idea of winning a crore was conceptualised by PepsiCo. The communication is targeted at the youth.

Pepsi's shortcut to be a crorepati
Giving insights on the campaign, Sandeep Singh Arora, executive vice-president, marketing, PepsiCo India, says, "Youngsters are practical. They want to get to the end point quickly. They like winning and gaining fame."

Arora further says that it is almost impossible to get on to the show. "It is a long process. But, Pepsi gives a shortcut."

The aim of the campaign, reveals Arora, is to drive sales of large packs and push in-home consumption of Pepsi products, during the festive season.

This contest runs across the entire portfolio of PepsiCo. But, the communication was launched only for Pepsi. There are talks about roping in other celebrities who endorse various PepsiCo brands. Currently, PepsiCo has Pepsi, 7UP, Nimbooz, Mirinda, Slice, and Mountain Dew under its refreshment beverages portfolio.

The ad will be run on the entire bouquet of Sony channels. "We had a commitment to start with KBC. In turn, we will carry the show's logo on our large pet bottles." The large pets are the multi-serve beverage bottles that are available in 1.5-2 litre sizes.

Pepsi's shortcut to be a crorepati
Incidentally, PepsiCo has struck a form of a barter deal with the channel for this particular campaign, the details of which were not divulged by Arora.

Leveraging on KBC's popularity

No one can argue on the popularity of the KBC show and the star power of host Amitabh Bachchan. For the week that started from September 4-10, 2011, KBC had a TVR of 5.03. It was the third-highest show in the Hindi-speaking market.

Speaking about leveraging on the popularity of KBC, Ruchi Mathur, business director, Mindshare, says, "KBC is the hottest property on television, today. The campaign will not only gain popularity through this association, but also help induce consumer engagement."

The media mix will include point of sale, outdoor, radio, digital, and social media. The company aims to spread awareness about the campaign through major activities at youth hangouts such as cinema halls, malls, and eateries.

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