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Pepsi campaign uses 5-second ads

News, 29 April 2016

NEW YORK: For its summer campaign to promote its new emoji-emblazoned bottles, PepsiCo is breaking from convention by limiting its video ads to just five seconds.

The soda brand, which is grappling with increased competition from bottled water, will kick off its campaign in mid-May with more than 100 online and TV ads that will be aimed largely at younger consumers.

As reported by USA Today, more than 200 original emojis – those globally popular visual characters – will feature in the ads as well as appearing on 20-ounce bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max.

With shorter ads, Pepsi is betting on promoting a less disruptive campaign that carries the twin benefits of reducing annoyance among viewers while making the ads less likely to be skipped.

Pre-roll ads of 15 or 30 seconds length can be irritating, acknowledged Chad Stubbs, Pepsi's vice-president of marketing, who said: "We already know consumers can take short-form entertainment. That's where the entertainment journey is headed."

In addition to its shortened ads, Pepsi aims to target consumers more effectively by mining search terms on Google. For example, someone searching for sunscreen might then be served an ad that features sunbathing emojis.

Another idea could involve the US Open in August and September when tennis fans may see a five-second clip of emoji heads bobbing back and forth as they follow the arc of a tennis ball during a game.

Turner Broadcasting is also working with Pepsi on the campaign, USA Today reported, but the unusually short ads will require its system to be updated manually when it starts running bundles of the ads next month on TNT, TBS, Adult Swim and Tru TV.

Commenting on Turner's collaboration, Donna Speciale, president of Turner ad sales, said: "This lends itself perfectly to the consumer experience and trying to make the messaging resonate better. The emoji is a symbol and it's so global. You don't need a lot of time for it to represent anything."

Data sourced from USA Today; additional content by Warc staff