NEW YORK: PepsiCo, the food and beverage giant, believes that "branded entertainment" must focus on promoting enjoyment among consumers first and marketing messages second if it is to make an impact.
Frank Cooper III, PepsiCo's chief marketing officer/global consumer engagement, discussed this subject at the 2014 Mobile Media Upfront, an event held in New York as part of Internet Week.
While the company has a "rich legacy" in areas like music and television – ranging from partnerships with pop star Michael Jackson to reality series The X Factor – that does not guarantee its future success, he reported.
"People really don't care about the history of the brand in and of itself; or the history of the players in the music space, the entertainment space or the content space," said Cooper. (For more, including how the role of the agency is changing, read Warc's exclusive report: PepsiCo enhances its in-house content skills.)
"All they really care about is: are you delivering today something that is meaningful to me? Are you generating something that really works for my life?"
In attempting to "translate" its expertise in affiliating with existing properties into creating new content, PepsiCo's focus is necessarily shifting away from simply how to best compete with rival brands.
Today, the competitive set extends to other marketers, media companies and even individuals, all of which are seeking to capture the attention of consumers on channels such as mobile and social.
"Now it's a question of how do you then take that, and put it in this space, and compete with the best entertainment that's out there," said Cooper.
"You almost need to put parentheses around 'branded' and just call it 'entertainment', because if it doesn't compete with the other entertainment that's out there, it doesn't really matter."
"That's the level that I think we want to play on and we're trying to play on."
One example of this is Pepsi Pulse, a digital hub providing content and updates related to music, entertainment and pop culture. This platform now operates in 75 countries, Cooper asserted.
"It sits online primarily now," he added. "We want to evolve that to the mobile space. And we think that's going to unlock some real possibilities."
Data sourced from Warc