How Pepsi Max used programmatic digital out-of-home to retarget fans

November 12, 2018Samantha Brault

the challenge

Tesla and Edison, Sherlock and Moriarty, Star Wars and Star Trek; the world is packed with epic rivalries, but perhaps none as iconic as Pepsi and a certain red rival. Wanting to settle things once and for all, Pepsi MAX needed a marketing campaign that truly set them apart.

In a two-step campaign, Pepsi MAX started by setting up stations across the Netherlands where people were encouraged to take a blind taste test comparing two beverages. This classic and immersive campaign was a hit and great for brand awareness. Yet Pepsi MAX wanted to extend their reach and push their creativity a step further.

the solution

Using their innovation budget and working with international marketing agency Omnicom, Pepsi devised a plan to retarget taste testers using digital out-of-home. The campaign ran on Exterion Media screens in six malls in Amsterdam, Utrecht, the Hague and Rotterdam. These locations were specifically selected because the malls had a supermarket in them, increasing the relevance of the ad and the likelihood of triggering a purchase.



However, rather than booking every mall screen at all times, the brand tapped into Broadsign DSP partner, Platform 161, for a hyper-targeted and contextual programmatic digital out-of-home approach. When people participated in the tasting challenge, a unique ID was logged from several apps using Resono beacon technology. The digital out-of-home campaign was then triggered instantly when one of these taste testers walked into the mall.

As this took place programmatically, Pepsi MAX only paid for the ad placement when the creative played, making it a targeted and extremely efficient media buy. The moment the ad was triggered, the entire mall network displayed a Pepsi MAX ad for an impactful takeover view.


“The flexibility provided by buying digital out-of-home programmatically enabled us to look at retargeting in a whole new way.  The screens were a fresh and creative addition to Pepsi MAX’s campaign.” – Danique Steur, senior programmatic specialist, Omnicom


the results

The result was a highly effective campaign that caught viewers’ attention.


“With programmatic digital out-of-home, we were able to be extremely relevant to our audience without having to spend huge amounts. We’re definitely going to continue to innovate with this type of campaign going forward.” – Michiel Otten, brand manager beverages, PepsiCo.


While mass awareness digital out-of-home campaigns are still an important part of a brand’s marketing strategy, data-driven programmatic campaigns are becoming more frequent, as buyers look to find more efficient and creative ways to share their brand stories.