PepsiCo-Airtel set to revive co-branding pact

PepsiCo India and are set to relaunch an earlier co-branding pact under which prepaid users of the Sunil Mittal-led telco will get upto 2GB of complimentary 4G data on purchase of Lay’s, Kurkure, Uncle Chipps and Doritos snack packs.

India’s second-largest telco and the maker of Pepsi cola and Lay’s snacks amongst others are reviving their older co-branding initiative to leverage the sharp surge in mobile broadband consumption and snacking volumes as vast swathes of India’s corporate workforce and students continue to work and study from home with the pandemic unlikely to go away anytime soon.

“Our co-branding pact with Airtel goes live nationally this week and will be valid till March 31, 2022,” a senior PepsiCo India executive told ET.

He said “data is an important currency,” with people using it to work from home, for online education, gaming to streaming video-content, adding that internal insights showed consumers “regularly stock up on preferred foods and beverage products, inclining towards larger pack sizes to avail of larger chunks of free data”.

Company executives said the decision to revive the year-old partnership was triggered by steady growth in mobile data consumption and a 12% jump in snacking volumes between April-May 2020 and April-May 2021, with consumers adopting “a hybrid WFH way of living”. During roughly the same period, Airtel reported a near 14% on-year jump in data usage per customer at 18.93 GB, as of end-June.

Under the partnership, Airtel’s branding will be splashed on packs of Lay’s, Kurkure, Uncle Chipps and Doritos and also figure on supporting ads on TV channels being put up by PepsiCo India, which is reckoned to forking out almost Rs 30 crore on media spends to relaunch the co-branding initiative across multiple platforms, including TV, digital and print.

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Consumers will need to check the free data voucher code printed inside a relevant PepsiCo snack pack, go to the ‘My Coupon’ section in the Airtel Thanks app and enter the voucher code to claim the free data offering.

At press time, Airtel did not respond to ET’s queries.

The Indian arm of the US snack and beverages maker will use big names from Bollywood, actors Akshay Kumar and Ranbir Kapoor, as brand ambassadors to feature on special shorties, as in short-span ad-films to drive the consumer-focused media blitzkrieg.



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