Pepsi Zero Sugar wants men to stop compromising

Pepsi created more than 70 different voice-overs to reach men in moments where they face trade-offs.

Pepsi Zero Sugar is getting personal in its performance marketing campaign, “Zero Sugar, Zero Compromise,” which uses more than 70 customized voice-overs to reach men in moments of “compromise.”

The campaign targets men in their 30s and 40s who are switching to the sugar-free version of the soft drink, which generally happens as they experience major life transitions. 

“They're getting married, buying a home, have a new job, their parents are getting older,” said Pepsi VP of marketing Todd Kaplan.”They’re basically adulting real hard.” 

Pepsi used internal research tools to learn more about this multifaceted consumer target, creating segments including sports fans, gamers and late night TV watchers. It then paired the findings with Google Audience Insights to analyze consumer behavior and find the best time of day to drop in an ad to a given audience during specific times when they might make a compromise.  

A late-night TV fan, for example, could watch clips of James Corden on YouTube instead of TV, because he goes to bed early. Another could be watching a movie with his wife at 8 p.m..

Once the audiences were fleshed out, Pepsi created more than 70 customized voice-overs — a “copywriting exercise at its finest,” Kaplan said. The brand used Google’s Director Mix technology to pair the voice-overs with the same video asset that features a Pepsi Zero Sugar can being poured. The spots end with the taglines "Zero Sugar, Zero Compromise" and "That's What I Like.” 

“This one's for every sports fan who just spent the entire game explaining to someone the entire game,” one voice-over says. “You’ve compromised enough.”  Another one states: “If you like your comedy edgy, but also can’t stay up past 11. You’ve compromised enough.” 

“The hope is that we can start out with this slate of assets and as we continue to optimize the campaign, we can bring new voice-overs into the mix, with very little lift on the team,” said Caitlin Coburn, director of brand engagement at Pepsi. 

The campaign will also expand to radio and TV, with ads running during the National Football League Draft in April. Shifting the campaign to linear television posed a challenge because real-time changes are difficult to make, but the message remains the same.

Uber Eats recently tailored its Super Bowl LV spot to more personalized audiences for a post-game rollout. The localized ads featured Wayne’s World stars Dana Carvey and Mike Meyers sharing orders from local restaurants in those specific cities. Uber Eats used the same tactic in September, featuring actors Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamil ordering food from local restaurants.

Subscribe today for just $116 a year

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a subscriber


The latest work, news, advice, comment and analysis, sent to you every day

register free