We are writing today in regards to Pepsi’s new social media engagement platforms, Pulse and Sound Off.

Pulse is a social media compliment to live content airing on X Factor, which aggregates and categorizes live Twitter data to show a snapshot of current social buzz about the show. Sound Off, in comparison, is an independent platform that incorporates competitive game elements (“gamification”) and Twitter-style posting mechanics – the goal being to drive consumer interest through competitive voting and the chance to have their opinions featured on the show.

We believe that these platforms can together be an effective experience for Gen Y Social Networkers for three reasons:

  • Television programming often drives trending topics on social media. By inserting itself into how audiences interact with these shows socially, it naturally integrates the Pepsi brand into highly visible trending topics and shows them as an active participant in pop culture. In particular, the X Factor is popular with the Gen Y audience Pepsi is targeting.
  • Similarly, conversations about television shows in general are moving away from the living room and onto digital media. The Pepsi brand doesn’t gain visibility just from abstract trends, but by being a resource for these consumers to continue their conversation.
  • Finally, “gamification” is a proven strategy for increasing the stickiness of interactive and social experiences. In particular, the promise of an audience member’s opinions being broadcast to the world is an excellent incentive to promote engagement.

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