PepsiCo disrupts end-of-day screen time to promote new relaxation beverage Driftwell

Dive Brief:

  • PepsiCo is promoting its new relaxation beverage Driftwell through targeted digital ads that disrupt the viewer’s screen time at the end of the day, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
  • Developed by PepsiCo’s internal content studio, the “40 Jinx” campaign recognizes that many Gen X and millennial consumers, including busy parents, are turning to social media and streaming as a way to unwind. An animated video paints each of these activities as a different jinx creature that can lead to unhealthy habits that prevent a restful sleep.
  • Ads prop up Driftwell, which contains the amino acid L-theanine and magnesium, as a way to bring stability and restfulness to the unwinding routine. The effort juxtaposes with PepsiCo’s larger media strategy, which has put a spotlight on streaming and digital media.

Dive Insight:

PepsiCo is encouraging more moderate screen-time habits with the new campaign for Driftwell, a beverage the marketer introduced late last year after fast-tracking the concept. The offering intends to help consumers combat feelings of stress while developing more consistent bedtime routines, two issues amplified by the coronavirus pandemic, which has made unplugging difficult for many people.

The Driftwell ads paint scrolling through social media apps or tuning into streaming sites as relaxation habits that can quickly morph into vices, illustrated as the titular jinx monsters that must be banished. Eighty-two percent of surveyed consumers claim they now screen, stream or scroll at the end of the day, according to findings from a study that Wakefield conducted in partnership with Driftwell. The brand is looking to engage older millennials and Gen Xers who may be young parents dealing with new strains on domestic life as well as work-related ones.

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PepsiCo in recent months has made a more concentrated push into streaming and digital media as consumers cut the cord on traditional TV and conduct more of their shopping online. But the marketer is clearly taking a different approach to promoting Driftwell, a product that represents an experimental bet on the health and wellness category. A press release paints end-of-day screen time as “actively sabotaging” the ability to unwind.

To get consumers to break unhealthy habits, Driftwell started running targeted ads on Facebook in mid-February and on YouTube in March. The placements appear during peak times to unplug, such as right after work and before bed. Sister brand Pepsi is in the midst of a similarly granular campaign. A push behind Pepsi Zero Sugar deploys more than 70 pieces of custom creative to engage men at moments where they feel like they’re compromising, with the guiding theme that low-calorie soda is one area where they don’t have to deal with trade-offs.

Driftwell follows other brands in positioning its product as a balm to frazzled consumers who have spent months cooped up at home and contending with larger societal ails. Meditation app Calm is another noteworthy example: The company last year sponsored CNN’s coverage of the hectic presidential election results, a strategy that led to a spike in downloads from app stores.

Correction: A prior version of this story misstated the intended benefits of Driftwell. It is a beverage meant to promote relaxation and lessen stress. 

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