Pepsi is known for its Super Bowl half time show and celebrity-laden commercials. Now it wants to burnish a reputation for holiday cheer.
The soda-maker will help consumers give cash gifts to friend and family members through a digital scratch-off game that can be sparked via QR codes found across 12 packs of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Wild Cherry Pepsi and Pepsi Vanilla. If customers find three Pepsi globes, they will get the chance to send cash prizes with values ranging from $5 to $25,000 to a designated person or charity.
Pepsi thinks the holidays offer “a big opportunity for the cola category,” says Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing for Pepsi, in an interivew. And while rival Coca-Cola has long celebrated the season with animated polar bears and evocations of nostalgia, Pepsi believes it can harness technology to get soda adherents to give its beverages more consideration when they are shopping for end-of-year get-togethers and Christmas gatherings. “This is a fun take on holiday giving that will spread more holiday cheer.”
To drive the point home, Pepsi has enlisted rapper and musician Cardi B to underscore the theme in digital and TV commercials that are beginning to roll out Thursday. In a digital video, a younger Cardi B meet Santa Claus, who says she was “naughty” and isn’t deserving of gifts. She vows to give gifts to everyone. In a TV ad slated to debut Thanksgiving Day in NBC’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” and in football games airing that day on NBC, CBS and Fox, Cardi B works with elves in a holiday workshop to get holiday cash to everyone, no matter their behavior.