Pepsi Becomes Part of Cricket Games

Announcers Refer to Timeouts as 'Pepsi Drinks Break'

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Brand: Pepsi
Brand Owner: PepsiCo
Category: Drinks (Non-alcoholic)
Date: July-August 2005
Country: India
Media Agency: MindShare
Other Agency: JWT
Media Owner: Ten Sports

Cricket and India go together like an old married couple. In recent years, however, it's been a bit of a threesome with Pepsi successfully capitalizing on this national obsession. In 2003, Pepsi's unofficial World Cup music video was a big hit, while in 2004, the "Pepsi Huddle" became closely associated with the team.

Click to see larger image.

In 2005, MindShare took the relationship a step further with a TV buy that went beyond conventional thinking. The media "property" in question was the player's drink breaks -- short 2-minute respites that occur four times during the game. In most markets, this is used by the broadcaster to squeeze in an ad break before normal play resumes. Naturally, a drink break offered harmony with Pepsi's proposition.

So as the players rushed to get their drinks (from the Pepsi branded trolley) during the tri-nation series against Sri Lanka and the West Indies, MindShare arranged for Pepsi-branded commentators to get on to the field for a mini-discussion about the game. Viewers of the game then saw the screen frame reduce in size, with the interview taking place inside a border of Pepsi branding.

The transitions into the four pauses were so smooth that commentators started referring to the "Pepsi Drinks Break," giving the brand added value from the media buy.

And the viewers clearly liked it because viewing figures during the break increased by 100%. A clear case of a brand "owning" a media opportunity, adding to the viewing experience and changing the media rules all at the same time.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared's Creative Media Database.

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