Welcome! You’re on the PMYB blog. We’re the influencer marketing agency that disrupted the influencer marketing industry through our scientific, data-driven approach to identifying effective influencers. We design, implement and execute influencer strategies for the world’s biggest brands, including Tik Tok, The National Lottery Good Causes and boohooMAN. We also provide marketers with valuable influencer marketing insights and news of social media developments. In this article, we detail how our clients and some of the world’s leading soft drink companies are tackling influencer marketing.
Soft Drink Companies Seek Influencers
As you most likely know, the soft drink industry is a highly competitive industry, dominated by a few large companies. According to the Carbonated Soft Drinks Global Industry Almanac 2017 Company Report, the overall carbonated soft drinks sector, in total, generated revenues of $US286,295.7m in 2015.
There is still a deep rivalry between market heavyweights, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Both brands spend millions of pounds each year promoting their products. Coca-Cola dominated the spending in the UK with ad spend on red Coca-Cola reaching £13.3 million in 2015-2016. Overall, soft drinks companies spent £37.8 million on advertising during that period.
Unsurprisingly, these major soft drink companies have discovered the advantages of influencer marketing. It is a particularly valuable way for them to spread their brand messages to consumers. The typical soft drink drinkers tend to be young people with disposable incomes. They are the same millennials who spend much of their time on social media. In the USA, 25% of teens drank at least one soft drink every day. A further 20% of teens have two or more soft drinks every day. Males aged 12-19 are four times more likely to drink soft drinks then males over the age of 60.
Read on to find 8 examples of soft drink companies engaging in influencer marketing. Most campaigns have been very successful, although Pepsi has had one very public influencer marketing misfire.
8 Soft Drink Companies Utilising Influencers
1. Coca-Cola Influencer Marketing Campaigns
In recent years, Coca-Cola has spent far more on marketing than the other soft drink companies. It should be no surprise that they regularly work with influencers to help spread their message. They have participated in multiple campaigns and often engage in multi-platform influencer marketing.
As part of Coca-Cola’s Happiness Week, they challenged UK YouTuber Joe Sugg to spread happiness via his audience. To do this, he appeared on live streaming platform YouNow. He then documented the audience reactions in YouTube videos.
Coca-Cola created an Instagram campaign focused on the Instagram tag #ThisOnesFor. They worked with six macro-influencers and eight micro-influencers. The influencers created 22 sponsored posts focusing on the main Coca-Cola beverage. Each post used the #ThisOnesFor tag, along with a link to the Coca-Cola EU Instagram account, @cocacolaeu. The theme of each post was, who would you share a Coke with?
One of Coca-Cola’s most significant social campaigns was #ThatsGold, which tied into the 2016 Olympic Games. This campaign resulted in the brand’s highest ever engagement with Facebook Live. It was a multi-platform campaign designed to attract teens with content from influencers, musicians, and athletes.
Coca-Cola began recruiting influencers a year in advance of the Rio Games. They carried out the campaign in three main phases:
- Before the games, beginning with a two-minute video featuring their mascot, a polar bear, who befriended many social media influencers and athletes on the “road to Rio.”
- Covering the Torch Tour Relay in real-time. Torchbearers travelled through 200 cities across Brazil in 95 days
- Once the games started, a team of 105 people managed Coca-Cola’s Olympic station in Rio.
2. Pepsi Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Like most soft drink companies, Pepsi has dabbled in influencer marketing. Sometimes they have tied influencer marketing in with their more traditional advertising.
For instance, Pepsi was an official halftime show sponsor for the 2017 Super Bowl. As well as paying a substantial money for the exposure, Pepsi also used social media influencers to promote their upcoming involvement with the show.
Pepsi created a website called PepsiHalftime.com and used social media influencers to promote the site. Each influencer created a video of themselves counting down the days until the game.
Not all influencer/celebrity campaigns have worked for Pepsi, however. One campaign that didn’t work as well as they would’ve liked involved reality star Kendall Jenner – ‘The Live for Now Anthem’ Pepsi ad. One of the biggest problems with the campaign was their choice of celebrity. In the quickly-removed ad, Kendall Jenner hands out a Pepsi to a policeman during a protest, leading to the crowd’s loss of anger. One of the problems with the ad was the fact that Pepsi chose a celebrity not known for social change. It didn’t come across authentic.
Kendall Jenner’s colossal following succeeded in helping the ad go viral – but it did so for all the wrong reasons. It was a case of a misalignment between a brand, an influencer, and a message. The video appeared inauthentic, and definitely inconsistent with Kendall’s traditional audience.
3. Dr Pepper Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Dr Pepper is another brand that believes in the benefits of operating a multi-platform influencer campaign.
The company worked with influencers to promote Lip Synch Battle, a television show it sponsors. It chose to promote the show across as many platforms as possible, not restricting itself to just the influencers’ most successful networks. The campaign featured the hashtag #OneofaKindLipSync.
Dr Pepper set up a booth in New York’s Times Square and employed a group of influencers to lip synch. They began promoting the event on Twitter, inviting their followers to join them in New York, and to request songs. They then live-streamed the event and shared photos on platforms such as Instagram afterwards.
4. Sprite Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Sprite carried out an Australian influencer campaign they called ‘Cut Through the Heat.’ They enlisted a team of influencers including radio personalities, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, to create ten videos for the campaign.
This tied in with a radio segment, ‘March of Awkwardness,’ where listeners share their awkward moments and receive tips on how to deal with them.
The influencers shared ten online videos featuring people in awkward moments, who are saved by brand character Sprite Saver.
Sprite also undertook a Snapchat influencer campaign in Brazil, called “RFRSH Na Lata,” or “refresh on the can.” The campaign promised to give one lucky Sprite drinker the chance to have their Snapcode printed on a Sprite can.
As part of the campaign, Sprite partnered with 15 famous Brazilian Snapchat stars to print their Snapcodes on cans.
5. Mountain Dew Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Mountain Dew has put its focus on building up a network of influencers. They have created their own multichannel network – Green Label MCN.
Mountain Dew decided to go down a narrow path with their influencer marketing, concentrating on working with four YouTube stars – basketball trickshot maker, The Professor, hip-hop dancer, D-Trix, and skateboarders, Josh Katz and Nigel Alexander.
6. Fanta Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Coca-Cola, who owns the Fanta brand, has run ‘Meet the Fantanas’ campaigns since 2010. Although it began as a predominantly commercial ad campaign, it has morphed into an influencer-led social media campaign.
YouTube influencers, MyLifeAsEve, LaurDIY, Jordan Fisher, and Coco Jones are at the heart of the Fanta campaign. They share video and photo content across their channels – which have generated over 1 million engagements.
7. Soda Stream Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Although you may not think of Soda Stream when asked to list major soft drink companies, it is very much a strong competitor.
SodaStream teamed up with ‘The Mountain’ from Game of Thrones, aka Thor Bjornsen to recruit top influencer talent to promote Soda Stream.
In a change from Soda Stream’s past targeting of families, this campaign reached out to millennials and ‘sinks and dinks’ – households with single or double incomes but no kids. Soda Stream discovered from its sales data that sinks and dinks and millennial audiences were more engaged with their brand than the families to whom they traditionally marketed.
Their main 2018 marketing campaign involves rolling out videos using influencers like The Mountain. This includes the ‘Join a Revolution’ project which recreates a famous scene from Season Five of Game of Thrones but funnily incorporates the SodaStream brand.
8. Red Bull Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Redbull has always had a strong, varied approach to their marketing strategy, and there is no doubt about the effectiveness of their influencer marketing approach.
Red Bull sees sponsorship as being a two-way process – all about collaboration and relationships. Therefore they believe it is essential that the “opinion leaders” the company works with are a right fit for the brand.
Red Bull works with influencers connected with sports, music, and gaming. They have teams working with up-and-coming names in these sectors. Red Bull makes a point of looking for talent who are on the rise before they make it. They aim to play the long game and try to help upcoming stars increase their online standing.
Once they have selected somebody to work with, they try to ‘give wings’ to his/her ideas. For example, they worked with Australian surfer Sally Fitzgibbons to make a documentary. They sent her to training camps which they featured in the film. The relationship helped Sally improve her surfing skills, and it provided Red Bull with valuable content to share online.