Pepsi tweaks its packaging to woo new age consumers

By Ashee Sharma , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Published : April 11, 2017
A look at the campaign that promotes Pepsi's new cans and bottles that have words like #SWAG, #MUAH, #JOLLU and #DHAMMU printed on them.

The best moments are those when you decide to let go, choose to act, follow your passion - nothing holds you back! This is the thought behind beverage brand, Pepsi's new summer campaign which celebrates everyday moments of spontaneity.

Whether it's to go #Nomnom while eating your favourite food or that late night #Gedi with friends to India Gate, it's spontaneous moments like these that form the essence of Pepsi's new 'Moments' campaign conceptualised by J. Walter Thompson.

With pop-culture at its heart, and 'Socha Nahi Ji Gaya, Pepsi Thi, Pi Gaya' as the philosophy, this campaign comprises over 80 popular words that are entrenched in the vocabulary of today's generation. These will be printed in eight regional languages on Pepsi cans and bottles that will be made available to consumers through all modern and traditional outlets across the country.

Pepsi will also roll out a series of four short format films, three of which will appear on television. Each of these films will be centred around a callout on the can - #Swag (featuring brand ambassador Virat Kohli), #FastForward and #Gatecrash.

Speaking on the campaign, Vipul Prakash, senior vice president, beverage category, PepsiCo India, says, "Through the 'Moments' campaign, we have once again taken a progressive approach to reflecting today's generation with a relatable packaging innovation. At PepsiCo, we have always celebrated packaging, which is our strongest asset and a key driver for our 'Shelf to Media' approach. The campaign will make Pepsi stand out on the retail shelves"

Pepsi 'Moments'

Pepsi PET bottle

Last year as well, Pepsi came up with a similar summer campaign #PepsiMoji - "Jaisa Mood, Waisi Pepsi." The PepsiCo Design and Innovation Center created hundreds of PepsiMoji designs for a universal language system proprietary to the brand. 38 PepsiMoji designs, including eight designs that reflected the unique nature of India and the Indian consumer - from the traditionally turbaned man, the quintessential lunch dabba and popular snacks like dosas and samosas, to the musical instrument 'tabla' and celebrities such as Virat Kohli and Ranbir Kapoor, were introduced.

Pepsi's 'Sun in a Bottle' campaign executed last year in partnership with Liter of Light - a global open source of projects that provides ecologically sustainable lighting solutions, free of cost, to communities that don't have access to electricity - was another example of packaging innovation carried out as a project to bring light to villages around the brand's plants in Bharuch (Gujarat) and Mamandur (Tamil Nadu). The campaign was supported by a digital film -'Lighting up lives', conceptualised by JWT and executed by the agency's digital arm, Mirum.

Senthil Kumar

Commenting further on the insight behind the campaign, Senthil Kumar, chief creative officer, J Walter Thompson India, adds, "Pepsi has always been an iconic brand that mirrors millennials and creates popular culture. This summer, Pepsi is celebrating the spontaneity that defines today's generation, with a set of three summer special commercials that capture how icons and new age consumers themselves are seizing the moment and doing it with a swag that represents the great taste of Pepsi."

The 360-degree marketing plan was rolled out with the launch of the TVC. This will be supported by outdoor and digital. There will also be exclusive partner labels with KFC, Pizza Hut and PVR carrying promotions.

Other expressions used in the campaign are #aande, #bajao, #boldaal, #muah, #bawaal, #kalti, #wingit, #panga and #gocray, #joot, #dhool, #semma, #takkaru, #gethu and #jollu in Tamil, #flat, #fatafati, #ghyaam, #fullbawaal, #korbo, #lorbo and #jeetbo in Bengali, #joru, #dhammu, #dookudu and #dhumdham in Telugu, and so on.


Mark McDonald

"...And so it seems cola bottles and cans with messages are back. This time it's Pepsi's turn," says Mark McDonald, head of creative, Mumbai, DigitasLBi, India.

The positioning underlying the three commercials, he infers is, "Make the most of every moment or don't think, live in the moment." While McDonald finds it difficult to not draw parallels with Coke's hugely popular 'names on a bottle' campaign, he agrees that Pepsi has added its own twist to it by flagging off popular attitudes and behaviours of the TG.

"The approach is an interesting one, but what would be worth noting is if users can contribute as well. For instance, is there a digital platform that allows us to contribute to the messages? Do users get to vote on the most popular ones and get them on a bottle? How Pepsi takes this campaign forward digitally and engages people will decide how well this campaign does and if it seeps into popular culture," he adds.

McDonald finds the ads well-executed and also appreciates the performances. "While the 'Gatecrash' and 'Fast forward' ads seem to tie in with the spontaneity of "Living in the moment", the Virat ad is about that much-overused word, Swag, and seems like a bit of a force-fit with the campaign thought. I like the signature tune though; it ties all the films together," he notes.

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