SHANGHAI (AdAgeChina.com) -- PepsiCo has put an African face on a digital 3-D campaign in China that taps into excitement in the mainland around the FIFA World Cup in June in South Africa. The campaign also plays on growing trade, cultural and diplomatic ties between China and African nations.
"Pepsi aims to bring a unique and fun game experience to China this summer with its creative ideas activated by its best in class football star line-up. This campaign has the largest scale in many aspects in our history of football activation," said Chris Tung in Shanghai, PepsiCo's VP marketing for beverages in China.
Created by Tribal DDB in Shanghai, part of DDB Group, the campaign is one of Pepsi's largest marketing campaigns this year. It also gives Chinese teens a chance to put their own imprint on China, literally.
The name of a grand prize winner in a Pepsi contest running this spring will be carved into a football stadium Pepsi will donate in Africa.
Through the thematic promotion, consumers can also win one of 90 million free Pepsi drinks given away through prizes under bottle caps, with on average a one-in-ten chance of winning.
They can also take part in Pepsi's virtual football "carnival" by entering their personal number on Tencent's QQ.com site on Pepsi's Chinese web site, www.pepsi.cn.
On the site, they can also explore a 3-D version of an "African" island and "earn" cans to help Pepsi build its journey from China to Africa. The consumer who provides the last can that completes the journey will win the prize.
The campaign, which will run through mid-July, brings the soccer experience online to Chinese teens. The web site lets consumers bet, test how eye-hand coordination skills on a virtual pitch, and play soccer online through augmented reality technology. Viewers can also watch behind-the-scenes video footage of top players like Lionel Messi, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.
Since most World Cup matches will take place in the early morning hours, due to time zone differences, Pepsi's site also offers a wake-up call to mobile phones featuring soccer "babes and hunks," said Daryl Ho, business director at Tribal DDB, Shanghai.
"Pepsi has strong association with football due to its heritage. Football is still the most watched and liked sport in China. Thus FIFA will generate lots of excitement in China, no matter whether the China team is in or not," Mr. Tung said.
The campaign launched in early April on a Pepsi-themed talk show featuring four of China's top soccer commentators. Pepsi also launched an out-of-home campaign in 15 Chinese cities and a spot running on TV and online video-sharing sites featuring the theme song, "Oh Africa," by Akon and Keri Hilson.
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