Olipop Seeks Traveling 'Soda Consultants' From Superfan Pool


Better-for-you soda brand Olipop recently launched a distinctive marketing campaign searching for a pair of best friends to serve as “senior soda consultants,” traveling across the country to four cities to make content with Olipop. The brand will not only foot the bill for room, board, and a daily stipend, but also pay $5,000 per person for the first city, with the potential to continue the tour. The campaign kicked off with the brand’s job posting, which Ollipop head of growth and talent Steven Vigilante said was inspired by one of the top comments the brand gets on social media: “Hire me.”

CPG Insider caught up with Vigilante to discuss the campaign and how it relates to the brand’s overall marketing strategy.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

CPG Insider: What do applicants need to do to enter the promotion, and how does Olipop plan to determine the winners? How are you ensuring it results in content the brand can work with?

Steven Vigilante: The job description and application will include a video component, so we can make sure people can actually create content. We plan to bring two people into specific markets where we have activations happening in the coming months. We thought it was a fun way to lean into the cult following we have, while also creating content in these cities that will also showcase the cities and all they to offer. We had 90,000 people apply for jobs at Olipop last year, so I’m very confident that this will [attract big] numbers.

CPG Insider: How does the campaign align with Olipop’s overall approach to marketing, and how does it help you reach your target audience?

Vigilante: I've always tried to work with real people. A lot of our creators are everyday folk, not your typical “influencer,” and this is another manifestation of that. We’re going to be hiring real customers, real superfans, and work with them to make authentic content, and ask those people to post that on their socials as well.

Everything we've done really is around product placement -- including appearing in Nicky Minaj and Ice Spice’s Barbie music video. The younger generation doesn't want to be sold to. They want to associate with brands that are doing good in the world. This perfectly aligns with that.

CPG Insider: What can you share about the locations the content creators will be traveling to for the campaign?

Vigilante: We’re keeping the four cities under wraps for now. It’s cities where we’ll have billboards going up at certain points. We’ll announce the first city in April. They’re not the four most obvious cities. They’re cities that maybe don't get as much love from advertisers and brands in the better-for-you space, kind of what you might call tertiary cities.

CPG Insider: What makes Olipop stand out amid a growing list of competitors in the category?

Vigilante: The product tastes like what it says it tastes like, which is often not the case with less sugar, better-for-you products. It has real functional benefits. It's solving a real need for people: Everyone has someone in their life that's trying to get off soda.

It's a bit of an honor that there are more brands now. We did create the category, and you know that you're doing something right if there are a lot of fast follower brands. At the end of the day, you need multiple brands in a category to create a category. We’re trying to set the standard with functional benefits.

The industry follows the leader to some extent. My view is that it’s Coke and Pepsi that we’re going after, and we want to be in those places where they show up. We ultimately want to be in those kinds of outlets historically owned by Coke and Pepsi, like airlines and stadiums.

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