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Crystal Pepsi blends 90s nostalgia with mobile gaming for a new generation

PepsiCo is relaunching Crystal Pepsi to capitalize on the growing interest in 90s nostalgia and has recreated the iconic Oregon Trail game to up the ante on a campaign the marketer hopes will go viral. 

While nostalgia is a staple of consumers? interests and stirs up a lot of excitement, the 90s theme is gaining popularity as children from this era become adults. Pepsi?s relaunch is hoping to create an ideal recipe that blends nostalgia, mobile gaming and social media in hopes to go viral. 

?While we certainly understand that the mobile platforms today did not exist when Crystal Pepsi first was introduced, we wanted to ensure that consumers are able to engage in the re-launch in as many ways as possible,? said Linda Lagos, director of marketing at Pepsi. ?Fans are able to play the Crystal Pepsi Trail on all mobile devices and can share key moments from the game on Twitter and Facebook. 

?Also, like we do with several of our other properties, we incorporated our Pepsi Pass app into the Crystal Pepsi Trail, in which fans are able to earn pass points each day,? she said. ?Fans can use the points to win a variety of special prizes and experiences.?

Pepsi twist
Pepsi?s unique product launched and discontinued in the 1990s, around the same time that the classic computer game Oregon Trail was popular. The soda is a clear version of Pepsi?s flagship product and as staples of 90s pop culture, consumers are likely to recognize both products and get excited. 

The soda brand is sharing the mobilized game through social media. Consumers will be able to play a new version of the famous game with a 90s and Crystal Pepsi theme on mobile devices.

Users can access the game starting July 7 on, in reference the popular 90s Web addresses. The original Oregon Trail had users traveling in Missouri to settle in Oregon via the Oregon Trail, encountering various problems along the way. 

The new version of the Oregon Trail, named the Crystal Pepsi Trail, follows a similar theme but players have to get to the mall in an old station wagon. The look and feel of the new version follows iconic imaging of the original game, but with a modern and better user-friendly experience. 

The game starts with an image of a station wagon driving along the road, until a various obstacle occurs. For instance, a player may come to a body of water in which a popup will appear asking users between taking the bridge or the tunnel. 

Players? answers could result in a positive event or suffer unfortunate consequences like losing a passenger or some items. The goal is to make it all the way to the mall without losing all your passengers and items. 

Mobile gaming 
Kellogg Co. similarly sponsored a mobile virtual reality game on the heels of Marvel's Captain America: Civil War box office success in which users can become the superhero, cognizant of the pull of non-advertising marketing tactics with consumers (see more). 

With beverage brands becoming more creative in their interactive marketing tactics, PepsiCo also leveraged a mobile-optimized prize wheel microsite to boost customer acquisition, resulting in approximately eight percent of offers being redeemed (see more). 

?When we were planning to re-launch, we wanted to develop different, authentic ways to engage Crystal Pepsi fans as well as new consumers,? Ms. Lagos said. ?The Crystal Pepsi Trail is one fun way that we?re doing this, adapting the popular 90s game The Oregon Trail and delivering a new experience for our customers to engage with the brand. 

?We hope that this gives our fans a rad way to take a trip back to the 90s and learn more about Crystal Pepsi,? she said.