For years, Pepsi has been carrying forward a culture of ‘SWAG’, which as per the brand, has encouraged the youth to have an audacious self-belief. Further, according to Saumya Rathor, Category Lead- Pepsi Cola, PepsiCo India, Pepsi has always been at the forefront of cultural evolutions as a brand - be it in India or at a global level.
Rathor then went on to state that their NFT collection is for the younger generation who are fascinated with tech.
“Our endeavour is to transform our communications to align with the evolving youth. Inspired by the brand philosophy of Pepsi Black, the NFT collection is an ode to the younger generation who are deeply entrenched in technology,” she said.
Upon being questioned as to what led to the inception of the Pepsi Black NFT collection, Rathor replied that the NFT art collectibles centred around the classic Pepsi Black ‘Zero’ visual are inspired by various consumer passion points such as rhythm, movement, etc.
“Pepsi has always been a brand with a strong heritage in pop culture. The youth and our audiences are deeply connected with technology and are always on the lookout for the next best thing, new-age tech to engage with and since NFTs are the newest and most popular tech to hit the digital world, so it's only fitting for us to bring that legacy into the new world of NFTs,” she added.
Furthermore, Rathor also went on to state that ‘SWAG’ has been synonymous with Pepsi for a long time now and it has truly been a mantra that aims to encourage the youth to have audacious self-belief.
“We as a brand endeavour to give our consumers a platform to express themselves, be it through ‘Har Ghoonth Mein Swag Hai’, ‘Salaam Namaste’ or even ‘Check My Fizz’ anthem. With the NFT launch, we have given our consumers another platform to engage with because at the heart of it NFT is a platform that celebrates art, which in turn is a medium of the larger brand belief of self-expression,” Rathor added.
The Pepsi Black NFT collection:
Throwing light as to why PepsiCo decided to launch their maiden NFTs in the first place, Rathor said, “The NFT launch is a testament to the fact that as marketers, we need to constantly keep ourselves updated with the times and evolve our offerings with the changing consumer sentiments. Launching this collection was our way of building muscle around Web3.0 and the metaverse space.”
Commenting as to why they decided to allocate the Pepsi Black NFTs through the #PepsiBlackeffect challenge on the Moj app, Rathor stated that because the brand reaches out to a pan-India audience, including Tier-II and Tier III markets, and is not just limited to metro cities, the brand decided to opt for the short video app as it is used by consumers across both markets.
“The video-sharing app is currently seeing an uptake in the consumer base and its presence is rooted in regional cities,” she added.
Giving a background into the process of selecting the winners, Rathor stated that the consumers can enter the world of Pepsi Black by clicking four portraits in the lens along with the product while showing the brand’s irreverent ‘SWAG’. “The winners will be selected from these collages and given distinct NFTs from India’s first-ever ‘Pepsi Black Zero Sugar’ collection, which are the original IPs of the brand and will be listed on Open Sea,” she added.
“PepsiCo India Design Team in partnership with illustrator, Timea Balo has exclusively curated the NFT collection for Pepsi Black anchored on the brand’s pillars of Innovation, Self-Expression, and Evolution,” said Rathor.
She also went on to add that the launch has already created a stir amongst the consumers as they have already received over 3,00,000 video entries.
“With this response to the Pepsi Black NFT launch, we definitely are looking at launching some more NFTs in the coming year as now we are certain that our audiences have an appetite for such initiatives and we’re also very excited to get into this metaverse space in a much bigger way. We’ll continue to deliver on the needs of our tech-savvy consumers,” she said.
Upon being questioned as to what the challenge winners can get apart from 20 NFT IPs, Rathor replied that with the NFT initiative in place, the consumers will have a chance to win exclusive Pepsi Black NFT merchandise such as sweatshirts and jackets.
On a concluding note, Rathor went on to state that PepsiCo India continuously evaluates the marketing opportunities for their young, Gen Z brand consumers and strongly believe in the fact that their consumers want to interact with and trust brands which have a voice and are connecting with them.
“Metaverse is an evolving space, and we are cognizant of how it is finding popularity each day with people at large. The launch of Pepsi’s first-ever ‘Pepsi Black Zero Sugar’ NFT collection was a step towards this direction, and we’ll continue to engage with our consumers creatively in the future,” she stated.