PepsiCo is looking for a few good new media and marketing platforms. The parent company of brands such as Pepsi, Quaker, Frito-Lay, and Gatorade has launched an innovation incubator called PepsiCo10, in which the company will help 10 aspiring marketing entrepreneurs activate pilot marketing programs with the company's brands.
"As it becomes more challenging to engage consumers, and as new [media] platforms emerge, we thought: 'What better way to get in with them and support them?" Seth Kaufman, PepsiCo's director of media strategy and investment, tells Marketing Daily. "There's lots of emerging technology and emerging platforms. The question is, how can they connect brands with consumers?"
PepsiCo has partnered with global venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners and social media publication Mashable to promote the incubator. The company is evaluating submissions based on one of four marketing segments: social media; mobile; place-based and retail experiential marketing, and digital or video gaming. The submissions will be evaluated on their ability to impact brands and advance the company's "Performance with a Purpose" priorities, which include health and wellness, environmental sustainability and talent development.
"It's helping us create new capabilities in new media. We need different skill sets internally," Kaufman says. "This will get us [learning] new platforms before they emerge and before they're scaled."
After submissions are received at the end of June, the company will winnow them to 20 semifinalists, who will be invited to PepsiCo headquarters in White Plains, N.Y., where they will present their ideas to PepsiCo marketing executives and other interested partners and media (including -- but not limited to -- PepsiCo agencies OMD Ignition Factory, TracyLocke, dmg::events and Weber Shandwick).
In addition, PepsiCo10 is intended to engage with younger consumers. According to Kaufman, many entrepreneurs in the media and marketing space are between 18 and 25, which is also the first generation to be raised on booming technological innovation.