Pepsi Goes Programmatic


As buyers look to find more innovative ways of telling their brand stories, data-driven programmatic campaigns are becoming more and more relevant, often as supplements to the now traditional shotgun blasts of mass awareness DOOH. Case in point: The recent update of the Pepsi Challenge taste test, in which Pepsi’s cola products are pitted against a certain red-labeled juggernaut, brings the classic marketing campaign into the 21st century with a programmatic twist.

Targeting Dutch urban centers, Pepsi began by creating buzz with the roll-out of several tasting stations. Using a number of apps and Resono beacon technology, each taste tester logged a unique ID for later use.

With the help of international marketing agency Omnicom, the second part of the campaign involved running DOOH content on Exterion Media screens in six malls across the country. Locations were chosen in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and the Hague due to the fact that these malls were attached to supermarkets, and the messaging would have that much more of a chance to inspire thirst.

However, rather than booking every mall screen at all times, the brand leveraged a combination of advanced technologies, including Broadsign’s DSP partner Platform 161, for a hyper-focused and contextual programmatic approach. When one of those logged tasters from the initial leg of the campaign strolled into any of these shopping malls, the DOOH content was triggered immediately to capitalize on whatever brand loyalty was established with the original experience. See below for a preview of what played on those screens:


As this concert of content all took place programmatically, Pepsi only paid for the ad placement when the creative played, making it a targeted and extremely efficient media buy. The moment the ad was triggered, the entire mall network displayed a Pepsi Max ad for an impactful takeover view. 

“The flexibility provided by buying digital out-of-home programmatically enabled us to look at retargeting in a whole new way,” said Omnicom Senior Programmatic Specialist Danique Steur. “The screens were a fresh and creative addition to Pepsi’s campaign.”

“With programmatic digital out-of-home, we were able to be extremely relevant to our audience without having to spend huge amounts,” said PepsiCo Brand Manager of Beverage Michiel Otten. “We’re definitely going to continue to innovate with this type of campaign going forward.”

About Author

Jason Kushner is a videographer, editor, writer and filmmaker living in the Greater Atlanta Area. With an educational background combining film and journalism, Kushner has shot video and written for a myriad of publications and multimedia projects including Creative Loafing Tampa,, Starline Films and Digital Signage Connection. His 2009 documentary American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee became an Official Selection at 12 international film festivals, won Best Documentary at the 2009 Central Florida Film Festival and a John Muir Gold Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival.  In 2015, he became Digital Media Editor for Digital Signage Expo, LightShow West and LED Specifier Summit and has since become Digital Content Manager for those shows’ parent company, Exponation.

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