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How Pepsi got to rock with the stars

How is it possible that through collaboration with celebrities and one of the biggest and most remembered advertising campaigns in history Pepsi has strengthened its image, making it one of the most respected brands today.

It all started with an idea in the early 2000s, to take advantage of the cultural impact and influence that celebrities have on young audiences, in order to associate the Pepsi brand with values such as fun, energy and creativity.

This is how Pepsi’s “We Will Rock You” campaign came about, where world-renowned artists such as Britney Spears, BeyoncĂ©, Pink and Enrique Iglesias joined forces to recreate the classic Queen anthem in order to enhance the cultural impact and emotional connection with the target audience. A controversial but innovative bet for its time, as it successfully united the world of music with the marketing of a mass consumer brand, setting an important precedent with a resounding success.

It is estimated that Pepsi’s sales in the United States increased between 1-3% after the launch of the campaign, which represented billions of dollars in additional income for PepsiCo thanks to the increase in unit sales, the largest increases were among young consumers between 12 and 24 years of age, which was the target audience for the campaign. In addition, it not only increased Pepsi’s sales but also brand recognition, strengthening the positioning of this giant as a “cool” option associated with youth/rock culture, which could bring benefits in the longer term.

This campaign is an early successful example of the use of celebrities and cultural influencers for advertising purposes and how a brand’s association with them increases customers’ willingness to try new products and thus make a product successful. But how can you apply this to your own business?

First, it is important to identify local influencers, whether they are content creators or other personalities, who have a presence and following in markets close to the company’s area of operation. Ideally, those who promote lifestyles or ideas related to the business. Then, they can be offered some concrete benefit in exchange for organic promotion, such as discounts, complimentary products or some added value for their followers, creating a win-win link.

Replicating winning strategies from the past does not mean copying them directly, but adapting their principles to each context. Well-worked celebrities and influencers are still powerful marketing tools even for small businesses.

So is it possible for your product to go viral? By applying the lessons of the past to your own business you can reap great benefits. Remember that the opportunities are there, you just need to know how to identify them and exploit them with the right approach.

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