Pepsi Brings Smell, Sound To Print

Forget sight, sound and motion. A new campaign from Pepsi takes aim at sight, sound and scent.

Called “The new sound of cola,” the multi-channel effort, led by Omnicom’s OMD for three-month-old Diet Pepsi Jazz, includes an insert in the Oct. 16 issue of People that aims to surround readers with the soda’s color, smell and “sound.”

Opening the four-page insert activates a sound chip playing jazz music from a TV spot for the soda, and a scratch-and-smell strip produces a whiff of its black cherry and French vanilla flavors.

“This is the first music chip that ties into a television copy track,” said Gail Stein, client communication director, OMD. “And it’s the first insert that ties together a bunch of different senses, and the aroma and color of the product.”

The OMD team worked with Pepsi’s lead creative shop, sister agency DDB, to shape the ad. According to Stein, it was DDB that suggested the sound chip. “[They] put the jazz colors on it,” she said.

The full campaign, with a budget of $15-20 million, hopes to become a standout among liquid refreshments, a $1.7 billion category that seems to roll out a new product every day.

“Providing consumers with that interactive, multi-sensory experience is a way to break through the clutter,” said Christine Wu, senior manager, marketing, Pepsi.

The effort mostly targets women 25-49, though its sweet spot is the “busy 30-something looking for a guilt-free indulgence,” explained Stein.

For more conventional print ads, OMD sought out titles like Cosmo, Entertainment Weekly and Real Simple that tied in with the theme of “that busy adult…who’s looking for something indulgent, but doesn’t want a banana split,” said Stein.

In August and September a 30-second spot aired on prime-time outlets from ABC to A&E, with a healthy dose of music channels like BET Jazz, VH1 and MTV. The campaign also spans digital and out-of-home.