For Pepsi, short is sweet when it comes to ads, which is why the brand is taking the unusual step of running five-second TV ads to support the cola's new emoji-designed bottles.
The brand will run more than 100 online and TV ads beginning in mid-May that are five seconds in length, a Pepsi spokeswoman confirmed. "Consumers want a shorter form of everything. This is our way of transforming media to make it more relevant to consumers," she said. The marketer is also seeking to make the ads as contextually relevant as possible. So an ad running during a baseball game will have a baseball theme, the spokeswoman said.
Here are examples of the 5-second ads.
Agencies working on the campaign include Motive and Quietman.
TV ads are typically bought in increments of 30 seconds and 60 seconds, although shorter buys are not unprecedented. In 2009, Miller High Life created a one-second Super Bowl ad. DeLeon Tequila, a joint-venture between Diageo and Sean "Diddy" Combs, last year ran a series of 15-second ads, figuring that was the amount of time that matched the attention span of the average consumer. "They're busy, focusing on multiple screens at once, and have a short attention span. You have to capture them with the first beat," Diddy said in a statement at the time.
Pepsi's 5-second play would suggest that attention spans are shrinking even further. USA Today reported that the unusually brief ads forced Turner Broadcasting to "update its system manually when it starts running bundles of Pepsi's ads next month on TNT, TBS, Adult Swim and Tru TV." But Turner was willing to work with the marketer.
"This lends itself perfectly to the consumer experience and trying to make the messaging resonate better," Donna Speciale, president of Turner ad sales, told USA Today.
Pepsi is also seeking to bring the emojis to life in a store in Manhattan. The partnership is with Story, a store in Chelsea that puts brands at the center of rotating store concepts in return for a sponsorship fee that starts at around $400,000. Pepsi's deal is part of a concept called "Have Fun" that will run from April 26 to May 22.
Pepsi first introduced emoji cans and bottles last year in Russia, Canada and Thailand. The Story partnership and five-second TV spots come as Pepsi prepares to launch the campaign in the U.S. as part of a larger global push. The global campaign involves slapping Pepsi-designed emojis on cans and bottles that the soda brand describes as "PepsiMojis." In the U.S., emojis will only be put on bottles. They will be used on Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max.
At Story, features will include an interactive station that allows visitors to use the Pepsi emoji library to create patterns for t-shirts and smartphone cases. The station was created by YR Store, a London-based live design and print boutique. Other offerings at the store include cookies, fanny packs and glassware that use the PepsiMoji designs.