Pepsi Builds Music Series Around Twitter Data

PepsiCo‘s head of digital Shiv Singh has helped mesh digital marketing with music events like South by Southwest partnering with Foursquare, Instagram, Stickybits, and BreakOutBand. Now he has debuted a new Social Media marketing campaign  with Twitter to connect digital eyeballs with concert performance. Singh says:

“Twitter is about capturing the excitement of now. [The effort is] content-driven and experience-driven…It’s about consumer participation. And then to a smaller extent, it’s about ads as well.”

For a full 12 months, PepsiCo will analyze data about music-related tweets and publish video commentary about what bands or artists are creating the biggest buzz. Based on the data, they will give away weekly music downloads.

Ears & Eyeballs on the Prize

Forty-nine percent of Twitter users follow at least one musician on the social site, according to Twitter.

The data will also be employed to develop a series of so-called pop-up concerts, which will take place across the United States this summer. Pepsi will alert its hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers to concerts two weeks in advance. The shows will be live-streamed on Twitter. Singh explains that the Twitter data “can affect which artists are asked to perform. It can affect where the performance may happen. It can affect what song choices are initially selected for the artists.”

“Live for Now”

The global campaign, titled “Live for Now” allows Twitter’s more than 140 million users to listen to and discover music through free weekly music downloads, music-focused original videos, and a series of pop-up concerts this summer and fall.

The “Live for Now Music” partnership has several elements, including:

  • A new music-oriented video series: Pepsi and Twitter will help fans stay on top of music trends with “Live for Now Music,” a new short-form video series. Each Wednesday, over the course of 52 weeks, “Live for Now Music” will provide fans an instant overview of the artists, music and music news trending that week on Twitter.
  • Free music downloads. Each week, @pepsi will tweet about the exciting and current music that people who live for now are passionate about. Pepsi will also offer free music downloads from the MP3 Store to consumers who follow @pepsi and include the hashtag #PepsiMusicNOW in their Tweets.
  • Pepsi pop-up concert series. Pepsi will stage a series of pop-up concerts in the U.S. this summer and fall. These concerts — featuring major music artists — will be announced first on Twitter and streamed live on Twitter through Pepsi’s enhanced profile page and on  The concerts will also be available on-demand afterwards for fans who want to watch later.

The global campaign was created in partnership with an integrated cross-agency, multi-disciplinary team of Omnicom agencies, including Alma, BBDO Worldwide, OMD, Organic, TBWA Worldwide and TracyLocke Partners. Pepsi has slated up to $600 million in additional marketing for this year for the campaign.

The Pop Wars Begin!

Pepsi isn’t the only one using music to tap into the youth market. Coca-Cola earlier this month announced a partnership with the online music provider Spotify; the companies are unveiling the details of their campaign later this year. The music-streaming service will be the centerpiece of Coca-Cola’s “Year of Music” campaign in 2013.

The marketing push comes as Pepsi looks to revive the cola wars with The Coca-Cola Co. Investors have criticized PepsiCo for losing market share to Coca-Cola in recent years through relative neglect of the brand  as PepsiCo focused on other brands in its portfolio, especially those with a health conscious focus. In 2010, Pepsi was bumped from its No. 2 spot by Diet Coke in the U.S., with Coca-Cola remaining in the top spot, according to the industry tracker Beverage Digest. was broadly regarded as

New Venues for a Proven Formula

Coke and Pepsi both have a long history of using music to connect with young consumers. Over the years, Pepsi has featured musicians including Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, MC Hammer, Britney Spears and Beyonce in its marketing.

Songstress Nicki Minaj is the initial poster child for the campaign, which will cross-promote Pepsi Pulse, as Pepsi’s website is branded, reflecting the interactive hub that will serve as the social-media nexus for Pepsi’s campaign.

Pepsi is also launching a version of Pepsi Pulse targeting bi-cultural, Hispanic consumers called “Mi Pepsi” that will feature relevant content for this audience.

Pepsi’s Interactive Marketing Gets Serious

Hiring social media strategist Shiv Singh away from digital shop Razorfish in mid-2010 was a clear signal that the company was getting deadly serious about interactive marketing.  Since his appointment as head of digital, Pepsi’s digital activity has increased dramatically. Singh and his team have worked in the geo-social realm, while partnering with Facebook to insert the “like” button into display ads across publisher networks.

In the video interview below, the guru of geo-social discusses what Pepsi has accomplished and what the future will hold.