Pepsi knew the world would be talking about the “big football event” taking place in the Middle East throughout December 2022 (wonder what event that could be…?). And as an iconic brand with a rich heritage in football entertainment, it was critical that Pepsi didn’t miss out on the action.
And so our brief was clear; make Pepsi the most talked about entertainment brand during the tournament…
The modern game of football goes far beyond the 90-minute on-pitch action and fans are thirsty for off-pitch moments featuring their sporting heroes. We needed to make Pepsi part of fan culture by leaning into the multiple passions we know football fans – and players – love to bring together: fashion, music, one-of-a-kind products and unexpected collabs.
The challenge for most brands is sustaining conversation and relevance across eight intense weeks. To be part of the wider football conversation we were going to have to drop multiple creative ideas that strategically leveraged talent and targeted different segments of fans from all corners of the globe along the way.
With our direct competitors being officially involved alongside many other brands, we had to be bold and show our cheeky personality. It was all about stealing conversation in a highly entertaining (and legal) way that only Pepsi could.
We wanted to deliver a step-change campaign across 8 weeks that lived well beyond the TV advert. At the centre of our campaign was the “nutmeg” – a trick reserved for the risk-takers who are thirsty for the rush of the game. Using the nutmeg as our creative hook, we worked with a range of agency partners to create a campaign featuring star-studded content, iconic fashion collections and tasty new production innovations.
To put Pepsi’s creative stake in the ground ahead of the tournament, we gave fans a sneak peek into Pepsi’s upcoming hero film ‘Nutmeg Royale’ with the release of an exciting movie-style trailer. The ‘Nutmeg Royale’ film – released a week later – featured all-time greats Leo Messi, Paul Pogba and Ronaldinho battling it out over football’s craftiest move, the nutmeg. With hidden messages, legendary cameos (Peter Drury!), QR codes and homages to the universally loved 2000s era of Pepsi films and iconic football jerseys, the film launched to glowing reviews from football fans and personalities alike.
With nostalgia in fashion being at an all-time high, we tapped into a popular Gen Z trend and were able to bring the worlds of fashion and football together in a unique partnership. As 2022 marked 20 years since the release of an iconic Pepsi jersey, we used the timely anniversary to drop an exclusive fashion collaboration with UK football culture brand Art of Football. And who better to launch it than one of today’s most inspiring, young football talents that perfectly represents ‘Generation Thirsty’, Vinicus Jr. The range included a bucket hat, shoulder bag, tote bag and, of course, a jersey inspired by the iconic 2002 Pepsi strip. It’s safe to say it was a hit. The jersey sold out in under 24 hours!
Next, we launched Pepsi’s latest limited edition flavour ‘Pepsi Nutmeg’. With nutmeg often being regarded as the ultimate Christmas spice, and the tournament happening in the lead up to Christmas for the first time ever, this provided a relevant angle to engage both lifestyle and sports press, subsequently securing inclusions within live blogs and standalone product reviews.
Finally, armed with the knowledge that Dubai would be a hotspot for travelling football fans headed to Qatar, we created a one-of-a-kind, custom built Pepsi Nutmeg Foosball Table and installed it at the famous JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence). The surprise stunt was fronted by the original nutmeg king, Ronaldinho, who delighted passers-by on the beach, challenging them to the ultimate nutmeg tournament on a table which included players with parted legs.
Brand Cut Through
• Share of voice: achieved 78% share of voice during the month of launch against 7 official sponsors (18%+ KPI)
• ‘Thirsty For More’: landed Pepsi’s new international tagline in 72% of global coverage (22% above KPI)
• Market interest / buy-in 5 markets purchased 2,300+ Art of Football units (LATAM, AMESA, UK, WE, APAC)
• Over 600 AOF units sold to date with the first jersey stock selling out within 24 hours
Scale of Conversation
• Over 1,600 pieces of coverage in top tier media
• Coverage within a range of culture-led outlets beyond sport including Highsnob, Hypebeast and Versus
• 100% of coverage included branded assets (imagery or video)
• Art of Football’s social post achieved record interaction: 3.1M impressions, 55K engagements, 300K reach
in 24 hours
“Thank you to Pangolin for the extraordinary efforts and hard work to deliver one of the most successful campaigns for Pepsi last year. Being nominated for multiple PR awards for this work shows the passion and dedication that has gone into making it a success.”