Everyone is doing it. Creating original content that is! Apple is “not trying to compete with Netflix” but it is developing shows like Planet of the Apps. Pepsi is setting out to create original content that will be sold on to media companies. It seems like brands have realized that content really is still king.
That Apple should seek to expand its ecosystem into original content is no surprise, but of more interest to marketers is Pepsi’s creation of its in-house studio, the Creators League. Over the years many brands have created a variety of content from TV shows to promote their brands, but Pepsi is trying to take things one step further and make enough money from the enterprise to defray its marketing costs.
Brad Jakeman, President/Global Beverage Group at PepsiCo, describes the objective as follows,
“My ultimate goal is for our billion-dollar brands to actually fund their own marketing, so that we leverage the equity of the brand to produce content which we then sell [and] which we can then put back into the marketing for those brands.”
Given the portfolio of brands owned by Pepsi this goal is not as bizarre as it might sound at first. In addition to the Pepsi brand’s long-standing connection with the world of celebrity, Gatorade brings sports, Doritos brings video gaming and more.
In creating the Creators League, Pepsi is making a major bet that content creation is the future of marketing. Faced with growing antipathy to old school marketing brand’s will have little choice but to create content so compelling that people are motivated to engage directly and then share this content with others. And content is going to take on a far wider definition than the traditional brand video; encompassing a variety of platforms from proprietary concerts, sports events, video games, program series and causes.
The only question in my mind is whether Pepsi is going to rely on the media companies to judge what will grab audience attention, or is it going to take a more deliberate approach to ensuring that the content actually does motivate people to engage with and buy their brands?
Written by Nigel Hollis is Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Millward Brown