Crowdsourcing is debatable. There are those who believe it to be an extension of creativity, an opportunity for commoners to equate their powers with industry leaders. Others argue it to be a powerful tool that must be applied with great sensibility. Just last week the Chief Creative Officer of Organic, David Bryant, told our very own Chuck Kent that the value of crowd-sourcing “will really be in the hands of those who are sourcing and more importantly curating the content.” Coincidentally enough, this was stated in relation to yesterday’s Super Bowl during which Bryant’s hypothesis was proven accurate by halftime sponsor, Pepsi.
Utilizing object replacement animation, Pepsi created what is now the first crowd-sourced Super Bowl Halftime Show Introduction. The record title given to the presentation is not really what matters, but the enhancement of the brand is. The video is a compilation of over 500 frames depicting user-submitted photographs from the last month, merging together to form yet another fantastic tribute to the Now Culture.
The Now Culture, a vitality created by the entertaining and social, is becoming rather popular due to Pepsi’s “Live for Now” campaign. The campaign includes everything from Twitter hashtags (#NOW and #LIVEFORNOW) to the redesign of the Pepsi website, which is currently powered by Pepsi Pulse. By clicking on the “About” section, website visitors will be able to see that the brand is offering a plethora of cultural tidbits, event highlights, entertainment updates and celebrity challenges. Pulse (which is still in beta) is Pepsi’s attempt at becoming a social platform for anything related to music, entertainment and pop-culture (everything happening in the now that is worth sharing).
In the case of the Super Bowl, the timing was perfect for the brand to do something unique while still emphasizing living the moment—so Pepsi chose to crowd-source. Pepsi decided to integrate consumers, their memories and their networks all in one introduction that was rather intriguing (I wish I had participated, actually). The brand’s approach to the Super Bowl was seamless in that it integrated perfectly with what they had already built; basically, they served the audience a platter of youth, community, modernity and simple fun. The aesthetics and audio were wonderfully edited, but it is the participation that counts.
This was, what I believe to be, crowd-sourcing well-executed. Referring back to Bryant’s statement, it retains the interactivity of the consumer, while still allowing the creative executors to focus on their target image. If crowd-sourcing was solely about unchecked participation, then it would not have the same affect. What this does is showcase how Pepsi’s followers genuinely fit in with the brand or, better yet, how the brand’s image is a sincere depiction of its admirers.
With this halftime presentation added to the campaign, Pepsi’s “Live for Now” is even better than before. And may I just mention that the rhetoric is perfect. You have a focus on the word live that is then distributed through a pulse, bringing to the forefront Pepsi’s role in the natural, the everyday, the basic. People basically want to enjoy themselves, they desire moments shared, and all of this comes with Pepsi flowing through your veins. By focusing on everything real-time, fun and popular, the campaign has truly defined the brand’s positioning within a sea of others (and especially against its more classic competitor, Coca-Cola).
A little note: Pepsi is also offering the opportunity to win attendance to next year’s Super Bowl (for those that were convinced to join the fun by the bandwagon in the video). Simply answer questions about the video by watching a special frame-by-frame version or register on the Pepsi website and tweet #PepsiHalftime.