The overall campaign is focused on driving trial and brand engagement for the new soft drink, billed as “the first cola to deliver real cola taste with 60% less sugar.”
The campaign is encouraging consumers to try Pepsi Next at sampling events being held in 800 Walmart supercenters in 40 cities (the Facebook page offers a zip code-based event locator), or through the online “taste test.”
Those who opt into the Facebook-hosted taste test have a chance to be among the consumers selected to be included in improvisational videos in which comedians and actors from FunnyorDie.com will do imitations of the online personas of consumers and “notable personalities” taking their first sips of Pepsi Next. The improvs will employ relevant information from the subjects’ Facebook profiles, such as their “likes” and recent experiences.
After the opt-in period (April 2-19), 12 of the Funny or Die entertainers will do the improvs during a five-day shoot (using four different sound stages) in Los Angeles. The final, edited fan videos—shareable with friends—will be posted back to selected users within 24 hours and posted on the brand’s Facebook page.
The Facebook page offers a demo video starring actor/comedian Rob Riggle. Riggle describes how the test works and watches his own online persona trying Pepsi Next, referencing his "likes," from skeet shooting to painting with water colors.
Other videos already posted on the page feature Funny or Die entertainers doing humorous impressions of digital influencers -- including Internet mogul Gary Vaynerchuck and Internet meme “Scumbag Steve” -- taking their first sips of the cola. (Visitors to the page can also opt to watch Pepsi Next’s “Baby” TV spot.)
The Internet taste test -- created by the internal PepsiCo Beverages team, digital agency The Barbarian Group and Funny or Die -- is the latest example of using social media to offer consumer-driven, personalized branded entertainment and experiences.
"To launch Pepsi Next, we're focused on getting consumers to 'Drink it to Believe it' – even online, in a fun and uniquely digital way," said Shiv Singh, head of digital, PepsiCo Beverages.
Consumers are also being encouraged to share their “Drink It to Believe It” experiences on Twitter, via @pepsinext.