As the world turns and time fades away, Pepsi Next would like you to enjoy a running series of sponsored posts on BuzzFeed. The site that got its start as a purveyor of cat videos, memes and lists (cutely called ‘listicles’), has developed a new sponsored program to showcase the latest mid-calorie pop from Pepsi alongside listicles like “10 Completely Unbelievable Stories People Actually Believed.”
BuzzFeed’s creative team developed a ‘ListiClock,’ which features a list for every second of the day as it tells the time in animated form. Users can access the program from a ‘clock mode' button that rests prominently at the top of the homepage.
“Pepsi Next was the brand we envisioned it for given the elements of time, unbelievable and surprise being so core to that brand,” says Jon Steinberg, president and chief operating officer at BuzzFeed. “Once we shared the concept with Pepsi and OMD Ignition Factory earlier this year, we collaborated on the execution so that it made sense for the brand and the social web. OMD has always been an agency we are able to push into new boundaries with.”
The project, which took several months of development and collaboration, kicks off with a total of 2,600 posts that will cycle through the interactive ad as it slides through seconds, minutes and hours in real time. Each BuzzFeed listicle on the Listiclock matches the number on the clock, so “20 GIFs That’ll Make You Question Reality” shows up at the 20-minute mark of every hour. Posts like those branded by Pepsi Next, of which there are 31, appear at 10-minute increments. Non-sponsored BuzzFeed stories appear in the feeds for hours and seconds on the clock.
“We like to maintain a mix of sponsored and organic content. And, of course, Pepsi has strong branding on the clock itself,” Steinberg tells ClickZ, adding that the ListiClock is currently exclusive to Pepsi. “This is an innovative partnership that we have built based on our continued collaboration on the Pepsi Next brand. The Listiclock will be live for a few months with the hope that we will be able to learn and improve as times goes on.”
BuzzFeed hopes the new program will encourage site visitors to discover its extensive trove of lists in a more fun and unique way, all the while anchoring a series of new sponsored stories like “The 30 Most Unbelievable Things You Can Actually Buy” to the Pepsi Next brand. “The clock shows you unbelievable content in a timed element, which plays to the ‘next’ aspect of the brand,” says Steinberg.
“Pepsi Next has been on BuzzFeed since the brand launched in the US and we have helped craft a strong voice tying "unbelievable taste" to the "unbelievable" content you find on the social web,” he adds. “Pepsi Next's consistent voice on BuzzFeed is presenting content you need to see to believe, just as Pepsi Next is a soft drink you have to taste to believe it.”
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Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at email@example.com.
March 19, 2014