Pepsi’s telly-tagging iPhone app

3 May

Riding on the back of the growing “check-in” culture, Pepsi Max are rewarding their customers with free fizzy pop for “checking-in” to their new ad spot. Once you’ve gone through the trouble of downloading the app, tagging the spot will generate a unique virtual coupon which can be redeemed at selected stores in the US. But only for the first lucky 50,000. While others are gushing over this use of social technology, the jury’s still out for me.

On the plus side…

Rewarding your customers for interacting with your brand is a good thing.

It bridges the gap between the telly and the real-world.

It has the potential to create buzz.

On the down side…

People like to check-in to places, not telly ads. This isn’t something people naturally do.

The fact that you have to download the app, before idly awaiting for the ad to appear, is a huge barrier.

The only reward is free Pepsi. Meh. Unimaginative. And is the experience itself rewarding? I doubt it.

Apart from the fact they’re giving away Pepsi, I struggle to see what is uniquely Pepsi about this idea. It’s an interesting use of social technology, but what does this actually say about Pepsi as a brand? Other than that they’re willing to experiment with all things social. See Pepsi’s new social vending machines over here for more on this.

So what’s the verdict? Social hero or social suicide? Answers on a postcard please.


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