NEW YORK: PepsiCo, the food and beverage giant, has been making greater use of online advertising to test targeted, localised campaigns across the US.

The company developed a programme through a partnership with 57 of its bottlers, using the internet to support special offers and retail promotions available in specific regions.

Media network OMD and ad technology group PointRoll also contributed to this scheme, which delivered bespoke communications to 150 separate areas via properties like Google, Yahoo and AOL.

Alongside the firm's trademark cola, SoBe, Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist were all featured in ads that provided links to brand websites, details about deals and lists of nearby stores.

Following the first phase running over four weeks between April and May, a second iteration is now underway, with the ultimate aim of reflecting changing tastes observable among shoppers.

"The initial thought behind this was knowing that digital has become a more important channel for consumers," Katie Hannify, a media manager at PepsiCo, said.

"We wanted to make sure our local bottling system had the ability to customise a relevant message for consumers in their markets as opposed to a national brand-equity message."

In terms of funding, PepsiCo and its bottlers both stumped up resources backing this experiment, having implemented a similar approach for conventional strategies in the past.

"We've expanded that model into getting us out of the traditional media space and more into digital," Hannify said.

Regarding measurement, the provisional metrics will go beyond clickthrough rates and leverage a range of other data.

Analysis conducted over the course of this year, and the findings should then help determine how to proceed in 2011.

Possible innovations might take the form of incorporating downloadable coupons in online ads, which can printed out and reclaimed by customers at participating retail outlets.

"That's something we didn't have the bandwidth or capability to do this year," Hannify argued.

"We would like to have the ability to include multiple URLs within a given tagged ad."

Hannify also predicted this tactic could be of considerable importance in the future.

"From a media perspective, we know the space is something we have to test and figure out, so we want to make sure we continue to build and improve on it," she argued.

"The digital space is a priority for us."

Data sourced from MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff