PepsiCo10: Some Results Thus Far


PepsiCo10, PepsiCo’s innovative incubator program for digital start-ups, has received a lot of attention -- most recently, for its announcement that the third year of the program will be based in Brazil.

As with the first two years -- the U.S. in 2010 and the U.K. in 2011 -- the Brazil program will identify 10 emerging technology start-ups to work with PepsiCo and partners in implementing pilot projects that engage consumers in new ways.  

The first five, for pilots with Toddy, Doritos, Pepsi, H2OH! and Gatorade, will be chosen by December; the second five, for pilots with Toddynho, Quaker, Ruffles, Pepsi and Lipton, will be chosen by June 2013. Entrepreneurs and business students with products ready for business application are being encouraged to submit phase one applications through PepsiCo Brazil’s Facebook page through Oct. 27. Pilots will begin next year.



Each year’s program has market- and brand-specific business objectives, says Josh Karpf, PepsiCo’s global director of digital media.

In Brazil, business sustainability -- along with entertainment, mobile and retail -- is among the submission categories for the reason that sustainability is a particularly critical communications objective in that market, he notes.

Karpf emphasizes the program’s importance in helping PepsiCo “see around corners” by having early involvement with potentially important technologies, as well as enabling PepsiCo to form relationships and partnerships with digital entrepreneurs that should be beneficial over the long term.

Not all of the pilots have panned out exactly as envisioned, but that’s obviously the nature of experimentation, says Karpf.

Here are some of the results and outcomes from the first two years’ programs, from Karpf and PepsiCo.

2010 (U.S.):

  • Tongal, an online platform that combines crowdsourc­ing and performance games to harvest content from a worldwide community of creators, worked with PepsiCo’s Brisk brand to crowdsource content, concepts and production needs for an animation project. Brisk received “great” videos and concepts from 1,500 Tongal users from all 50 U.S. states and from 51 countries in little more than a week, according to Karpf.
  • Evil Genius Designs, creator of mobile gaming experiences, created a custom “Super Shopper” experiential digital game that enabled users to shop for PepsiCo products (specifically, brands that they might not realize are PepsiCo’s), post scores to a leaderboard and tweet photos of games to their social networks. Ninety percent of participants shared their game photos online. Now, PepsiCo is teaming up with Evil Genius Design again, to create a Super Shopper iPhone game.
  • Tabletop Media worked with PepsiCo Foodservice on a pilot in which patrons of fast-casual chains, including Applebee’s and California Pizza Kitchen, could pay at the table through the Ziosk wireless device, while being served up engaging Pepsi content.
  • Since piloting with PepsiCo, in-store checkout/engagement solutions firm AisleBuyer has been acquired by Intuit, and social TV start-up Miso has received funding from Google Ventures, Hearst Interactive Media and Khosla Ventures.

2011 (U.K):

  • TVTak executed a pilot with U.K. potato chip brand Walkers to launch the “world’s first point and win second-screen interactive campaign,” using its video content recognition platform. The initiative inspired 700-plus users to download the app and access mystery-flavor clues.
  • Slingshot, a software program that allows consumers to place items in an online shopping basket via Facebook or a mobile device, teamed with Doritos on a pilot to drive online sales through a Facebook page integration. The initiative resulted in an impressive 49% conversion rate -- meaning that nearly half of consumers who put an item in their digital shopping basket actually purchased the product.
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