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Why PepsiCo took to Instacart with its new campaign just in time for the NFL season

With the NFL football season starting this week, Pepsi is launching new sweepstakes targeted at football fans through Instacart that will let a family stay in a branded tiny home for the 18 weeks of the NFL season.

The campaign was advertised to fans through display ads on Instacart starting this week. “It’s really trying to connect food and Pepsi together and remind consumers how food tastes better with Pepsi,” said Todd Kaplan, CMO at Pepsi.

Since Instacart delivers groceries each week, Pepsi wanted to appeal to Instacart users and play into the idea of meeting those fans at home, per Kaplan. “We made the strategic decision to really focus on the fans and the fan experience of watching at home, which is really endemic to our product experience, we’ve really seen fans embrace it,” he said.

It is unclear how much of Pepsi’s advertising budget is allocated to this campaign, as Kaplan would not share budget specifics. According to Kantar data, PepsiCo. spent a little over $161 million so far in 2022 on advertising efforts, which is less than the $673 million it spent in 2021. Those figures do not include social media as Kantar does not track those figures. Other than on Instacart, the ad spot for the sweepstakes can be seen on social platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and CTV.

“Contests and sweepstakes are definitely a great way to build engagement and favorability amongst consumers, and Pepsi coupling trending experiences (i.e. tiny homes) with popular athletes is a clever way to influence consumers into purchasing the soft drink,” said Adam Dornbusch, founder/CEO of EnTribe.

Pepsi is not the only brand to reach football fans just in time for the NFL season. DTC hand sanitizer brand Shimmy used OOH marketing by working with Gillette Stadium, and ESPN’s campaign to attract fantasy football players were recent initiatives to get fans ready.

Pepsi will also offer additional consumer engagement opportunities, digital and linear content, as well as local and national activations throughout the NFL season to deepen the emotional connection it has to consumers, Kaplan said.

“We know our consumers watch football. We know our brand stands for unapologetic tech enjoyment. And we want to really embrace how these fans unapologetically enjoy their football watching. And we’ve seen it year over year every year,” Kaplan said.

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