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PepsiCo's 50th anniversary strategy bubbles with love for mobile collaborators

PepsiCo is showing why it is a mobile leader by giving its 50th anniversary social content strategy a mobile-first look that also shows how the brand values collaborators who helped build its reputation as an innovator.

The beverage and snacks company is using its #Pepsico50 golden anniversary hashtag to further tell the brand?s story and engage with partners such as Omnicom, Oracle and Bristol Motor Speedway. PepsiCo?s effort to create relevant content and conversation around the milestone event reflects the company?s belief that the key to moving products is the backstory behind the product and understanding the culture around consumers who want to buy your product.

?The key point to consider is that since this is a PepsiCo corporate vs. Pepsi brand initiative, the conversation is more closely aligned between partners and employees versus celebrating directly with consumers and rewarding them,? said Tom Edwards of the Marketing Arm, Dallas. 

1965 merger
PepsiCo, a global food and beverage leader with $65 billion in revenue and more than 22 billion-dollar brands including Frito-Lay, Tropicana, and Gatorade, was formed in 1965 with Pepsi-Cola?s merger with Frito-Lay.

A look at Pepsico's Twitter feed http://www.twitter.com/pepsico and a search of the #pepsico50 hashtag shows that the anniversary celebration embraces a larger content strategy that includes Facebook and Twitter but is, above all, mobile-focused. 

Marking Sabra partnership in 2008.

?Pepsico's approach is ideal for a corporately led celebration of a milestone,? Mr. Edwards said. 

?They were able to create short-form content that spoke to different audiences and were able to gain additional earned media equity through partner created content and conversation. 

?For products celebrating milestones it is an opportunity to activate a consumer base to share in and be a part of a celebration,? he said. ?This can come in many forms, but the ideal is when a brand consumer can convey what the product means to them through user created content that is curated and celebrated by the brand.? 

On PepsiCo?s Facebook site, users can click on a chart that animates PepsiCo?s changing product lineup over the past half-century.

Congratulatory images on Twitter link users to a timeline of events in the brand?s history. The timeline reflects how PepsiCo has expanded from its namesake product Pepsi to a broader range of food and beverage brands. 

Showcasing a product timeline can spark nostalgia or create inspiration for launching new product innovation. 

For Pepsico, innovation has meant frequently collaborating with myriad partners in the media and entertainment world to provide relevant content to consumers.

For instance, PepsiCo?s music-centered partnership with Twitter drove sales and user engagement, in online and offline transactions.

PepsiCo also partnered with Mashable to launch a competition that looked to match startups in social media, communications, technology and mobile marketing with industry mentors and PepsiCo brands. 

And PepsiCo?s ?Break To Reset? contest asked for new snack ideas to help working adults have a break, clear their mind, refuel, regain a positive attitude and get on with their day. Its ?Munching Partner? contest aimed to gather new ideas for snacks to help working men and women get through long working hours. 

PepsiCo, which frequently turned to crowdsourcing platforms to drive what it calls open innovation, draws on more than 50 global academic relationships within its product-development group. 

A milestone celebration typically is an opportunity for a brand to reinforce consumer engagement. 

Community celebration
When Nike celebrated reaching a follower milestone on Instagram, it held a 24-hour community celebration during which it published what it said were 10 photos from fans who inspired them. The initiative led to a high level of engagement. 

Celebrating a food and beverage brand's evolution, on Twitter.

?With product milestones, you see a number of brands leveraging the milestone to activate their consumer base,? Mr. Edwards said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York