Pepsi to use quick response mobile codes to engage young consumers

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 6th November 2008

PepsiCo and their UK bottler, Britvic, have announced they will use one of the hottest trends in Japan, QR (quick response) codes, to strengthen ties with their consumers. The codes will appear on around 400 million Pepsi cans and bottles in the UK.

QR codes can be employed for promotional purposes, to gain more traffic to mobile-enabled websites or to give out information. The Japanese immigration service uses them as passport stamps. In the case of Pepsi, it will enable consumers to receive entertainment, or a kick, on their mobile phone.

Consumers simply take a picture of the code with their mobile phone camera and this will automatically redirect them to a WAP site where among the prizes are: advice from Pepsi’s tongue-in-cheek life coach Rusty Champion, Pro Evolution Soccer and Project Gotham racing games, ringtones and wallpapers. Frequent visitors will be rewarded for their loyalty with more exclusive content.

QR code technology has been popular in technology savvy Japan for a number of years but Pepsi will be the first UK consumer goods company to commit to using them. Most consumers will need to download the QR technology onto their phones and only those with internet access can take advantage of the rewards program.

Bruno Gruwez, Pepsi’s UK marketing director, said that the codes will give the company a much more direct way of communicating with the brand’s many young consumers.

“Our core group of consumers of Pepsi Max is about 25 years old and they very much live in the digital world and the way we communicate with them is evolving rapidly. It is not so much about the 30 second TV advert any more. We want to use the can as a gateway and that is what QR codes can provide for us,” he explained. “Not everyone in the UK is going to be able to use them… but early adopters are really our target audience and using QR codes also shows we are an innovative brand.”

Ahmed Abdel-Karim, Marketing Manager for Pepsi UK, added that the technology gave the brand an opportunity to reward brand loyal customers and keep the brand at the forefront of their minds. “Pepsi is using QR codes to connect with, and engage consumers in a new and exciting way wherever they are,” he said. “We are finding innovative ways to communicate with Pepsi drinkers and to reward their loyalty with entertaining and interesting content, ensuring Pepsi remains front of mind.”