Get paid to drink Pepsi (and eat Fritos)…

Pepsi is launching a PepCoin loyalty program that rewards you for buying both a single-serve beverage and a Frito-Lay snack by sending money to PayPal and Venmo accounts. If you scan enough codes on bottles and bags, you’ll receive a little bit of cash. You’ll have to earn $2 before it goes to your account, but this is real spending money.

How it works:

  • Buy a PepsiCo beverage and Frito-Lay snack.
  • Scan the codes on the bag and under the bottle cap with your phone.
  • Link the program to your PayPal or Venmo.
  • Once you accumulate $2, the money automatically transfers to your account with Venmo or PayPal.

It’s not a dollar for dollar point system, each transaction earns a person about 37 cents. So, like, 5.4 purchases.

Why it’s hot: Companies with multiple brands are increasingly using loyalty programs as a vehicle to sell across their portfolio and drive awareness of the many different products within it. With the exception of credit and debit cards, that apply cash back as a credit to your account, cash back incentives in the form of actual cash have yet to be tested (as far as I could tell). Truly successful loyalty programs thrive on creating engaging experiences and emotional connections with their consumers — it’ll be interesting to see whether Pepcoin will be able to establish a true connection with customers, past the initial shock and enroll stage and whether it’ll change how loyalty and rewards programs provide benefits to consumers in the future.

Sources: Engadget, Thrillist, MediaPostPYMNTS.com, Pepcoin, Pepsi press release

The Pepsi Challenge Returns

In the 80’s, the Pepsi Challenge became a pop culture sensation before Twitter could make pop culture sensations in seconds. And now Pepsi is bringing an interpretation of this campaign back to celebrate the original’s 40th anniversary.

The new campaign will be socially-based and content-led through a combination of 6 celebrity brand ambassadors, social consumer challenges, and local interpretations of the campaign around the world. Also, every time consumers around the world use the hashtag #PepsiChallenge in their social media channels, the brand will make a donation to an organization committed to bring light to people around the world.

The brand will be working with Usher, Serena Williams, Colombia and Real Madrid soccer star James Rodriguez, Usain Bolt, designer Nicola Formichetti, and social media phenom Jerome Jarre throughout 2015, to announce a series of challenges from March to the end of the year, which PepsiCo Global Beverages Group chief marketing officer Kristin Patrick says are designed to push consumers to push themselves and dream big (…not to mention, sell product). “The challenges will ask consumers to do things, submit things, it could be a piece of writing, a selfie, the range will be from challenging to things anyone can do,” says Patrick. “In the past we’ve been linked to sports and music. Consumers passions are evolving and the world of culture is increasingly connected—film and fashion are connected to music, all these entry points all work together. And if you look at celebrities today, while the do stand in a particular genre, they also have different points of interest across culture. So our challenges will be across technology, sports, music, and design.”

Why it’s hot:

In today’s cluttered digital world, a simple re-launch or celebration of the original wouldn’t likely break through. Pepsi’s interpretation of this new campaign is an effort to take the spirit of the original success and make it relevant way beyond the taste of Pepsi and into the lifestyle of consumers.

“Pepsi, as a brand, is much bigger than a cola and is considered a pop culture brand,” says Jakeman. “We have to innovate around the brand from a product perspective so that we’re meeting the changing consumer demands but in our marketing we’re moving beyond just the core Pepsi advertising and really advocating the trademark that encompasses all the brands while still retaining the Pepsi lifestyle promise.”