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PepsiCo latches onto mobile photo sharing to expand Super Bowl reach

Beverage giant PepsiCo Inc. is building up hype for its Super Bowl XLVII sponsorship with a mobile initiative that combines photo sharing, Web and social media to increase brand awareness.

Pepsi is betting big on crowdsourcing this year as part of its Super Bowl XLVII advertising. The mobile portion of the campaign centers on an optimized site and photo sharing.

?The photos are being used in a creative and unique editing technology called object replacement animation,? said Shiv Singh, head of digital marketing at Pepsi, Purchase, NY.

?This technique works by using a consistent object across multiple frames of photography,? he said.

?While the backgrounds become chaotic, the object of focus gains an almost surreal impression of stability.?

Mobile engagement
Pepsi has optimized its microsite for the campaign ? ? for mobile devices.

Via the site, consumers are encouraged to upload posed photos of themselves for a chance at being included in a video that will run during halftime during Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 that showcases user-generated content.

Photos are grouped into assignments for participants. For instance, the first assignment is titled ?Shout? and encourages users to submit three photos in specific poses to enter.

The site also gives users tips on how to shoot the best pictures.

Users can participate in multiple assignments, which helps Pepsi drive repeat traffic to the site leading up to Super Bowl XLVII.

Similar to other mobile initiatives from Pepsi, social media plays a big role in helping Pepsi spread its marketing to consumers.

Photos must be tagged with the hashtag #PepsiHalftime and submitted before Jan. 21 to qualify.

As an incentive to get users to enter the campaign, all photos submitted before Jan. 11 will be entered into a sweepstakes to see Beyonce perform during Halftime from the field. Pepsi will choose 50 fans to win the experience.

The campaign also includes a PC version of the microsite and is being promoted on Pepsi?s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Mobile engagement
This is not the first time that Pepsi has relied on mobile as part of its Super Bowl marketing.

Last year, the company partnered with Shazam and GetGlue on initiatives that rewarded consumers for checking into the game from their handsets. The marketing efforts were aimed at getting consumers to talk about and share their favorite music (see story).

Since the emphasis this year is on photo sharing, it makes sense for mobile to play a prominent role.

As consumers have turned to their mobile devices more in the past year to share photos with friends and family, marketers have increasingly eyed photo sharing as a way to bridge social media and mobile.

With mobile users often multitasking while watching TV, mobile is increasingly being used by brands to tie together multichannel campaigns.

?Mobile is just as important for us as the desktop when we engage our consumers,? Mr. Singh said.

?We have high engagement with mobile, and it helps build positive brand affinity and sales as well, which is important and gives us great measurable results,? he said.

?We realize a lot of consumers access our site while on the go, or they use social platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We want to ensure a seamless experience for our consumers when they engage with us.?

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