Hello, OptiMIST People!
Back at it again with KaMIST! Your weekly dose of insights into the latest marketing trends. In this week’s KaMIST we’ll dive into how PepsiCo as a head of esports started on leveling up an ‘always on’ strategy.
Although video games are a big business, many non-endemic marketers, which means the marketers that focus on the consumer, not on the marketing channel they used, realize the medium’s power to connect with a diverse range of gamers. That is not the case with PepsiCo, which has had an internal head of esports and gaming for over three and a half years and continues to grow how it activates around fundamental intellectual properties such as NBA 2K.
Paul Mascali began his career in advertising by working with the food and beverage company through OMD’s specialized gaming and esports department, Zero Code. However, it wasn’t long before PepsiCo realized that gaming was becoming an essential component of the identity of products such as Mountain Dew and Doritos. Currently, Mascali believes the pitch process is becoming easier as the marketer moves to bring that level of knowledge to other areas of its portfolio.
Since Mascali turned client-side, gaming’s dominance in pop culture has become even more robust, with more customers picking up a controller or installing casual mobile games throughout the pandemic. As a result, PepsiCo has made more significant marketing pushes in the area. Bigger bets on gaming coincide with changes in PepsiCo’s larger sports marketing strategy: Pepsi recently backed away from sponsoring the Super Bowl Halftime Show after a decade, while Gatorade ended its NHL partnership.
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