Pepsi’s Beyoncé campaign suggests relying on social engagement volume can be misleading

Pepsi’s Beyoncé campaign suggests relying on social engagement volume can be misleading

Pepsi's new Beyoncé campaign received 7 million views in three days, but is that the best way to measure its success?

Our first article in the Learning Deficit series revealed that social media insight is not just about analysing volume. We identified seven other dimensions in social media, one of those being the topics of discussion which drive engagement. After looking at brands such as Oreo and Sony's Xperia Z, this third case study investigates Pepsi’s 2013 Beyoncé ad. The video shows Beyoncé drinking a Pepsi before dancing to her new single "Grown Woman". It has garnered over 7 million views in just three days on Pepsi’s official channel, along with 30,000 likes and 10,000 comments, showing that the video was successful in attracting consumer attention and engagement.
A partnership with Beyoncé can have a positive overall impact on the Pepsi brand. However, analysis of comments on the video suggests that consumers see it as Beyoncé's new music video rather than a Pepsi commercial. Only 12% of comments on the video mention Pepsi, which is half the level of brand mentions seen on other similar campaigns such as Converse and Gorillaz, Armani and Rihanna or Virgin Media and Usain Bolt. This shows the pitfalls of relying solely on volume of engagement as a success metric and that brands should dig deeper to understand what consumers are talking about.

Engagement with Pepsi occurs in only 12% of comments:

Other celebrity campaigns drive higher engagement with the brand:

  • The Beyoncé campaign drives a relatively low association with Pepsi: Other similar campaigns using celebrities generate twice as much engagement with the brand itself. Looking at overall views for the video provides a measure of awareness, but understanding what consumers are commenting about provides a deeper view of the video's impact



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