We’re about halfway through summer (yes, hard to believe), so it’s time to take a look at how one of the summertime campaigns for a major advertiser is shaping up.

The advertiser is Pepsi, and the campaign is their #SayItWithPepsi campaign. Let’s take a look at how this campaign is playing out across the major consumer social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Posting and Engagement

Starting by taking a look at posting volume, the first item to notice is that this campaign is really about Twitter. 90% of the 82 posts (so far) were to that network, as shown in the Posts chart below left. Looking at some of the recent social media campaigns we’ve covered, Twitter is usually a large component of posting, but rarely anything like what we’re seeing with this campaign.

And while we’re looking at the posting volume on Twitter, look at the type of content Pepsi is posting to Twitter. Over 90% of the posts on Twitter are videos!

Here’s one example of a video post on Twitter from the campaign. Note the simplicity of the concept and the soundbite length. This parallels a change we saw with photos in social media — big brands not being afraid to go low budget and get timely material out quickly.

Zuum-SoftDrinks-Pepsi-PostsEngagements-20160426-20160711

Also consider the Engagements chart, above right. It’s showing a significantly higher portion of the overall engagement happening on Twitter than what we’ve previously seen in campaigns. While still not proportional to the posting volume allocated to Twitter, it’s a sizable amount of engagement.

The point is, if you’re able to generate decent engagement numbers, a lesser effective network can still make a good contribution to the overall impact. The only thing I’d have to question is the lack of posting on Facebook and Instagram. Especially when you look at the engagement levels on those networks relative to Twitter (see ‘Engagement/Fan Ratio’ data on the Engagements chart). It looks like they left a lot of engagement on the table by focusing so much on Twitter.

For comparison, look below at the overall posting during the same campaign period (starting at the May 16 launch). Firstly, note that total posts, campaign and non-campaign, are 184. So just under half of all brand posts were part of this campaign. Also, in the Posts chart, note that while Twitter still dominates, the volume of Twitter dropped to 82%, while the Engagements chart shows the overall portion of engagement coming from Twitter dropped even more relative to posting. That further indicates the power of the other networks. If they’d just get more posting volume.

Zuum-SoftDrinks-Pepsi-PostingEngagement-20160516-20160711

It’s also interesting to see that the percent of video overall isn’t nearly as high as for the campaign, with 62% of all Twitter posts being video, compared to the 90% for the campaign.

Posting by Day & Engagement by Day

Next, let’s look at posting and engagement over time, from April 26 through July 11. For the most part, the campaign has run since May 16, with an odd lone post on April 26 (see the Posting by Day chart, below left). The posting on Twitter has pretty much followed a one time per day schedule, with a few exceptions, like those large spikes on June 9 and 16, when Twitter posting spiked to seven times that day.

Zuum-SocialMediaCampaign-Pepsi-Sayitwithpepsi-PostingEngagementbyDay

We’ll come back to assess what they did on June 9, but first, let’s take a look at the content themes for the overall campaign.

Campaign Content Themes

Looking at the Top Related Terms word cloud, below, we see terms ‘contest’, ‘rules’ and ‘free’, which certainly sounds like a giveaway or promotion.

Zuum-SocialMediaCampaign-Pepsi-sayitwithpepsi-campaignthemes

We also see a prominent URL indicating a partnership between Pepsi and Pizza Hut.

Looking below, at the top posts from this campaign, we can see the most engaging Facebook post during this period addressed the Pizza Hut co-promotion we were just discussing.

Zuum-SocialMediaCampaign-Pepsi-sayitwithpepsi-TopPosts

Now, let’s go back to that June 9 spike in posts for the campaign. What would cause a brand to go from a once per day posting rate on Twitter to seven? Let’s take a look at what they posted on June 9, below.

Zuum-SoftDrinks-TopPosts-20160609-20160609

Note that none of the posts address the Pizza Hut promotion we say in the Top Related Terms cloud, above. In fact, they’re on a completely different topic. Emoji’s. Secondly, while the majority of Twitter posts have been Status updates, these posts are all photos, interestingly.

So what we’re seeing is the hashtag #SayItWithPepsi has very broad application in this campaign. Sometimes it’s applied to a cross-promotion with Pizza Hut, sometimes to Pepsi emoji’s, and sometimes to other content, like the clever short-form videos.

This is something we’ve seen from a number of brands in the past. Utilizing a high-level hashtag that applies to a number of themes. In these cases, the hashtag functions more like a tagline, providing a high-level theme or attitude to the campaign, while the brand can explore different sub-themes in their content.

Key Takeaways

Campaign themes can be flexible

Several of the campaigns we’ve recently highlighted have been for rather short time periods. And while that’s fine, what Pepsi has done here is generate a more overarching theme that has proven adaptable enough to cover diverse content types as quirky product-centric videos, a cross-promotion with Pizza Hut, and the launch of Pepsi emoji’s.

Video doesn’t have to mean a large production budget

While a small brand might consider Pepsi’s budget for these spots large, compared to what Pepsi has spent per second on video content in the past for TV commercials, I’m sure this is a drop in the bucket. Like the transition photos went through in the early days of social media, marketers willing to roll up their sleeves and dig into video production on a small scale now have another trend they can tap into: Video content.