NBC has “The Voice.” Pepsi hopes to build a similar phenomenon with “Your Wildest Dreams.”
The beverage giant will launch a virtual hip-hop talent competition on Triller, the social-networking app that helps users edit and synchronize videos to backing tracks that is owned by producer Ryan Kavanaugh’s Proxima Media. Over six weeks, Triller will conduct a “Pepsi Wild Cherry Your Wildest Dreams” contest that features a panel of top industry insiders including Fat Joe (above, pictured), Mike WiLL Made-It, Mulatto, Quay Global and Kenny Burns. Three finalists will have a chance to perform live at a “Triller House” in Atlanta in early January to compete for a mentoring session with the judges and to be featured in an ad for Pepsi Wild Cherry in 2021.
“What’s beautiful about this is we don’t necessarily know right now what we are going to get,” says Bonin Bough, the chief growth officer of Triller, who is a former marketing executive for Pepsi and Mondelez, in an interview. “You could get the next Beyonce from this.”
In years past, Pepsi might hope to catch the ears of music fans by using superstars like Britney Spears and Madonna in TV commercials and perhaps running those ads in TV shows that attracted young consumers. Now the company is simply building its own potential franchise. The ability for consumers to respond and react to entertainment in real time was attractive to executives, says Chauncey Hamlett, chief marketing officer of the South Division of PepsiCo Beverages North America, in an interview. “You are going to continue to see that as a bigger part of the mix and the media buy.”
As part of the proceedings, “Pepsi Live” performances filmed at the Triller House will surface throughout the competition and will feature emerging artists such as Yung Baby Tate, Big Havi and Felixx.
To take part, aspirants can upload their audition on Triller using the Pepsi Wild Cherry #YourWildestDreams filter and hashtag starting today through December 15, 2020. Fans who may not want to enter the competition but still want to take part can submit videos featuring Pepsi Wild Cherry products for a chance at weekly prizes such as $250 gift cards for popular streetwear brands.
Pepsi’s Wild Cherry line tends to attract younger consumers, says Hamlett. “It’s vibrant. It’s youthful. And it ties really well into the music space, the vibe around hip-hop music.”
Other big advertisers have sought to create their own content franchises via social and digital media. In 2013, AT&T launched a video series called “@SummerBreak” that followed nine teens fresh out of high school over their last summer together. To see the “show,” as it were, viewers had to follow the “@SummerBreak” Twitter feed, as well as those feeds belonging to the teens. By doing so, they could access links to videos, posts, Tumblrs and more.
The “Wildest Dreams” contest was borne out of discussions between Hamlett, a veteran beverage-marketing executive who has also steered Grey Goose and Mountain Dew, Bough and Fat Joe. “This didn’t just happen during traditional hours, but on weekend nights into the wee hours of the morning,” says Hamlett, who notes the trio were eager to tap into “the passion around emerging artists.”
There are some early hopes that the competition may lead to bigger things. “You can imagine over time what kinds of collaboration and what kind of content will potentially be created from an environment like this,” says Bough.