Pepsi kicks off soccer quiz on Houseparty video chat app

Brief:

  • Pepsi is partnering with social media app Houseparty on its first soccer quiz as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) prepares to host its yearly competition next month. The Pepsi Football Trivia Deck has more than 250 multiple-choice questions that soccer fans can answer as they share a video chat with friends in Houseparty, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
  • The soft-drink brand recruited Paul Pogba, star player for the Manchester United Football Club, to promote the trivia game in a video that shows him crashing a Houseparty chat among three celebrity soccer fans. The video shows Now United singer Bailey May, sports presenter Layla Anna-Lee and Panna champion Jack Downer struggling to answer a question about Pogba, who suddenly appears in the chat to warn them about answering correctly.
  • Pepsi is a sponsor of the Champions League, which returns on Aug. 7 and will conclude on Aug. 23 after being delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Insight:

Pepsi’s sponsorship of a trivia game on social media app Houseparty aims to build on the excitement surrounding the return of the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious tournament among European soccer teams, after the pandemic forced organizers to change its format and host all remaining games in Portugal. While the U.S. audience for the tournament is in the low millions, the event generates a massive audience of more than a billion viewers in Europe and worldwide, giving Pepsi a global stage for its promotional efforts.

Houseparty, which was acquired by “Fortnite” developer Epic Games last year, has seen a surge in usage among people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Fifty million people signed up for Houseparty during the first month of lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe, per company data cited by TechCrunch. While app tracking companies reported lower download and install numbers for Houseparty, the app also is available on Mac and Chrome desktop browsers whose usage figures are counted separately. By sponsoring soccer trivia on Houseparty, Pepsi can connect with people who use the app to connect with friends and provide them with an engaging gamified experience.

Pepsi’s sponsorship follows recent digital promotions to connect with younger audiences on their mobile devices. The PepsiCo-owned brand in March ran a cross-channel campaign to promote Pepsi Vanilla Zero Sugar and the return of Pepsi Wild Cherry Zero Sugar that included video spots and a library of clips on GIF-sharing platform Giphy. Pepsi also has developed campaigns using augmented reality (AR) technology to engage with mobile consumers. Those activations have included a campaign in February that used QR codes on packaging to unlock soccer-focused AR experiences and the introduction of AR filters on photo-sharing app Instagram last year. 

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