Pepsi Using Foursquare on Worldwide Social Media Campaign

By Kenna McHugh Comment

Pepsi is using a Foursquare badge on a worldwide campaign as a very important part of the company’s “Summer Time is Pepsi Time” social media and TV campaign.

According to Marketing Daily, the Foursquare partnership came into operation during the 4th of July weekend. Starting with a second TV spot called “Uncle Teddy,” the Foursquare badge campaign was launched. The Pepsi ad blatantly steals the polar bear theme from Coke. The ad was originally previewed on Pepsi’s Facebook and YouTube. From the social media sites, it was broadcast on “America’s Got Talent.”

The spot includes a screen message asking viewers to follow Pepsi on Foursquare to “unlock summer fun.” Foursquare messaging by a major brand on national television is a first. I am sure we will see more major brands catching on and combining social media with TV.

The campaign has Pepsi selecting popular locations around the world, involving ballparks, beaches, parks, concert venues and pools. Users who check-in from any three of the selected locations earns badges, which enters them in a Pepsi sweepstakes for prizes.

Pepsi is focusing on the social media aspect of the campaign because with Foursquare users checking in from the outdoor locations strengthens the connection between their real-world experiences and the Pepsi brand. Pepsi is banking on Foursquare users showing off their badges on their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts with chances of winning prizes, calling it ‘badge equity’.

Included in the social media campaign with Foursquare is an aggressive use of Twitter. Pepsi made small but strategic buys with the extremely popular #Happy4thofJuly.

An interesting and rather clever social media move by Pepsi was buying competitive keywords that resulted YouTube searches for “Coca-Cola” generating a sponsored link to the Pepsi polar bear spot. Of course, Coca-Cola retaliated and searches were redirected to

Pepsi also bought ad takeovers on AOL, Yahoo and similar web properties. The ads took users to the “Uncle Teddy” video and directs them to the Foursquare link. Another digital connection to the campaign was in-store promotional materials, including a QR code. When the code was scanned by a mobile device, users were connected to the Pepsi commercials or other campaign content.

So far Pepsi has been the #1 trending brand on Foursquare since July 3rd. In the first 36 hours of the social media campaign, “Uncle Teddy” garnered 1.2 million views.