PepsiCo embraces innovation

24 February 2012

GURGAON: PepsiCo is to focus on innovation in India as it attempts to build brands and grow revenues across a broad variety of product categories.

Speaking at the ad:tech New Delhi conference, Shiv Singh, global head of digital at PepsiCo, said the FMCG firm will be focusing on a digital media push for its snack and soft drink brands.

This is despite the dominance of traditional media in India, with latest Warc figures indicating that internet adspend currently accounts for less than 5% of the all-media total.

Specifically, Singh highlighted the need for the advertiser to develop "real-time" opportunities, leveraging consumer data to inform rapid-response marketing communications.

"[Companies] typically go from strategy, insights to execution in 9-10 months, doing research, focus groups and a whole lot of things with creatives," Singh added. "By the time it hits the market, the original insight is dated. Large organizations work like this, and they're totally out of sync."

Instead, Singh suggested, "digital media should be used for real time marketing ... we use this medium both for brand building and generating sales".

Examples of this kind of approach include a PepsiCo India campaign that ran on Facebook during the cricket world cup in 2011. This social media engagement led to Pepsi becoming more closely associated with the event.

Pepsi's innovation-based strategy – termed "Indovation" by Vidur Vyas, marketing director for foods at PepsiCo India – also extends into product development. Brand launches made in India by the firm recently include Iron Chusti, an ultra-low cost snack range and juice brand Slice.

PepsiCo has also adapted existing lines such as Gatorade and Aliva crackers to suit Indian tastes.

Cutting-edge marketing techniques are being recognised by the free-to-enter Warc Prize for Innovation, entries for which close on February 29.

The Prize is a worldwide search offering $10,000 in cash to the best case study of communications innovation involving any country, discipline, product sector or budget size.

For further details about the Prize criteria and entry process, visit

Data sourced from Economic Times/Medianama/Warc; additional content by Warc staff