Pepsi combines TV with the real world!

April 27, 2011

Pepsi takes the lead with a cutting-edge innovation using IntoNow. What is IntoNow? It is an iOS app that does to TV what Shazam did to music. It can listen to a clip of any TV show live as it happens and tell you the name of the show and the specific episode. Plus it can do that for any show for the last five years. Amazing in it’s own right!

Now Pepsi has managed to pull off a breakthrough using this technology. Users who tag a Pepsi MAX commercial as it airs get a digital coupon redeemable for a free Pepsi MAX. A brilliant idea that has some profound implications. For the first time ever technology has enabled linking a TV commercial message with a real world action. This idea opens up a world of opportunities. The dynamic can be applied to develop many ideas that combine live TV content with real world action – from a promotional offer, to an experience that continues in the real world to something that unlocks exclusive access to a desired product or service. The possibilities are indeed many.

Another aspect of this idea is it’s ability to bring the analytics of digital to TV viewing. It is now possible to determine exactly what was the profile of the people who tagged the TV commercial. Of course, this could bring about privacy issues and I am not sure if such data was shared by IntoNow but even if broad demographic data is shared it is of great value to a marketer.

I think this is part of a larger theme of real time marketing enabled by mobile technology connected to the digital world. We have seen KLM deliver surprises in real time using location based applications. Here Pepsi is offering free product based on an event based application. This merging of the real world with the digital world is something of a trend that is expected to become more common in the days to come. A proof of it’s potential is the fact that Yahoo! bought IntoNow for a reported $20-$30 million dollars according to estimates by TechCrunch. Not bad for a service that has been running for only about 12 weeks. And this was announced days after the Pepsi MAX execution. It seems this was the final clinch to the deal. Watch this space! More real time marketing to come…

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