What do you get when you cross a spaceship, tiger and meteorite with London’s busiest shopping street…? A very smart Pepsi Max advertising campaign! Their latest marketing tool involved rigging up concealed cameras in a poster frame of a bus stop, allowing commuters to see through a window to the street. They then installed technology to allow various motion images to fly across the window, tricking the passengers into thinking the illusion was real and therefore transforming a dull commute to a role in a virtual fantasy world!

An innovative trick of entertaining a select few has created global PR. I see it as a new era of ‘shockvertising’, an idea that’s been around as long as the industry itself. It entertains the audience by being fun and  humorous, whilst merging fantasy with reality. It warps our brains into viewing the world very differently, and certainly seeing advertising in a whole new light.

This vastly contrasts to your typical shock advertising. Historically, an advertiser would be bold, blunt and shocking with the intent of seizing the attention of the audience with the purpose of creating talk-ability.


‘The face of meth’, Crimestoppers and a recent advert from ‘Worksafe’

But how effective is this technique? It’s proven to work, but the danger is knowing how far to push that boundary without disturbing your audience and potentially turning them off completely.  If it saddens, shocks or frightens, it may leave a bitter taste in the mouth and dampen the reputation of the organisation that created it. The other danger is that we become blasé, we’re bombarded with daily shocking images and messages, through both print and broadcast. Here’s some examples of adverts that are currently on our TV’s which were made to shock:


St John’s ambulance

Cancer Council WA

The process in creating Pepsi’s campaign involved a team of creatives who worked with a carefully planned strategy to create the final outcome. As Rachel Holmes, senior marketing manager at PepsiCo UK said, “It truly lives up to Pepsi Max’s Unbelievable proposition from the innovative media planning through to the fantastic creative.”

We love Pepsi’s idea and believe there is so much more to a content marketing campaign than what many media companies currently offer. We already know the effectiveness of a video, but with strategical planning, a creative mindset and an experienced team to support your vision, we’re excited to discover how much more can be created to elevate your brand to the next level.

Lucy Helliwell