Daily Insights

Is Pepsi’s New Strategy Just for Show?

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jan 06, 2021

Pepsi pairs its Wild Cherry soda with Fox Entertainment for a new, themed game show. Beginning February 14, cable consumers can tune into Wild Cherries on Fox to test their knowledge of pop culture and Pepsi products. The 30-minute episodes will see contestants attempting to capture five “wild cherries” on a slot machine for a chance to answer questions and win money. The game includes two rounds of pop culture trivia and a grand monetary prize of $250,000. Pepsi’s name and product placement can be spotted throughout the stage set of the show, which could help keep it top of mind with viewers at home. Though the show will appear live on Fox channels, episodes will also be available for streaming on Tubi, Hulu, and Fox Now at a later date, which could bring added exposure to Pepsi and its cherry soda. Wild Cherries signifies a new advertising avenue for the beverage brand, which typically runs ads on broadcast networks and sponsors TV programming, like the Super Bowl. However, with a rise in subscription services and streaming rates, in-show advertising integration could help Pepsi capture new consumer attention. 

Blending branding with content entertainment allows Pepsi to ensure it reaches viewers through streaming services and linear TV at the same time. Its work on Wild Cherries could particularly draw in younger viewers who have become more averse to standard advertising methods like commercial ads, according to a Gartner report, as streaming has made them easier to skip or avoid. As brands are challenged to find new ways to reach younger audiences, Pepsi’s in-show strategy actually reverts back to a traditional product placement marketing method that could resonate more now as consumers embrace nostalgic promotions. The branded integration arrives at a time when consumers are leaning into visual entertainment, but have grown weary of blatant advertising. As the media landscape rapidly evolves to meet consumer demand, Pepsi’s new branding strategy could help it boost relevance and engagement with viewers. 

Pepsi sips on a fresh strategy with its Wild Cherries promotion, which could help it satisfy consumer hunger for entertainment while also separating itself from modernistic marketing methods.