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Pepsi flaunts Super Bowl XLVIII sponsorship through iAd campaign

Pepsi is hoping to build up some brand awareness before Sunday?s Super Bowl game with a new mobile advertising campaign that encourages consumers to tune-in at halftime.

The ads are running in both Spanish and English on Apple?s iAd network within apps including CBS News. The ads build on Pepsi?s content strategy that the brand has been growing in the weeks leading up to the game.

?Pepsi understands their target market, and they also understand that a good portion of their customers are plugged into devices, especially as it relates to the Super Bowl event,? said Cezar Kolodziej, CEO/president of Iris Mobile, Chicago.

?Using an iAd is a great way to reach out to this audience broadly during the event, while they are likely to be plugged into their various devices,? he said.

Mr. Kolodziej is not affiliated with Pepsi. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Pepsi did not respond to press inquiries.

Tune in to mobile
The banner ads flip over at the bottom of the page to feature copy in both Spanish and English.

The English copy reads, ?Get hyped for halftime." Consumers are then encouraged to click on a button next to the copy.

When clicked on, a full-page ad encourages consumers to access branded pre-Super Bowl content via the microsite.

Users who click through on the ad leave the TV Guide app, prompting a mobile browser to open.

Pepsi?s NFL microsite is a hub of the brand?s content leading up to the big game on Sunday at New Jersey?s MetLife Stadium.

For example, Pepsi placed vending machines with free soda around the town of Milligan, NE, earlier this month to get fans psyched up for the Super Bowl. The cans included calls-to-action promoting Super Bowl XLVIII.

Additionally, the brand brought country music star Lee Brice to town for a special concert. The microsite includes a YouTube video from the campaign in Nebraska.

The site also pulls in social media content from Pepsi?s bigger season-long ?Are You Fan Enough? NFL campaign from Instagram and Twitter.

Although the iAd itself is not particularly interactive since it directs consumers to the mobile Web, running a Super Bowl-themed ad right before the big game points to the increased investment that marketers are putting into mobile advertising this year.

Besides Pepsi, McDonald?s and Best Buy are also running pre-Super Bowl mobile ads.

With the growth in programmatic in the past year, marketers can also expect for more brands to buy mobile inventory in real-time to serve up more contextually-relevant ads during the game.

Mobile fizz
Pepsi is traditionally one of the biggest Super Bowl advertisers, so it is no surprise that mobile has increasingly played a bigger role for the brand in the past few years.

Pepsi has also run a campaign on iTunes Radio to tease the first 30 seconds of its much-hyped TV spot (see story). 

Additionally, the brand has already rolled out a massive augmented reality campaign to gear up for next year?s game. Augmented reality will activate nearly 20 million Pepsi products (see story). 

Last year, Pepsi ran a crowdsourced campaign that leveraged mobile photo sharing to build brand awareness leading up to the game (see story). 

?This year we will see more advertising during the Super Bowl that blurs the lines between what we consider traditional TV and the second screen,? Mr. Kolodziej said.

?We already know that 61 percent of viewers are using their mobile phones while watching TV, according to Qualcomm,? he said. ?This behavior will lead to innovation and some very engaging campaigns. We expect to see some very creative uses this year and this trend will continue throughout 2014.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York