Pepsi Zero Sugar leverages ‘Evening Economy’ for marketing during UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League has always been a prime opportunity for brands to showcase their marketing campaigns. For the 2024 UEFA Champions League Final on 1 June, Pepsi Zero Sugar launched a 3-hour livestreaming campaign before kick-off to help relieve fans’ sleepiness, as the match began at 3am CST (China Standard Time).

Pepsi Zero Sugar set up livestreaming rooms on Douyin (China’s TikTok), Weibo (China’s Twitter-like platform), and WeChat Live. Participants who watched as the brand built a stadium with 10,000 cans of Pepsi Zero Sugar were in with a chance to win tickets to the 2025 UEFA Champions League Final. According to statistics, over 2 million people tuned-in.

Pepsi Zero Sugar’s marketing strategy, ‘Refreshing is not afraid to stay up late’, resulted in the Weibo hashtag #Pepsi Zero Sugar# accumulating a total of 1.73 billion views. The livestream, inspired by fans who stayed up late to watch the final, was filled with football elements. The set featured tables with fried chicken, crayfish, and other late-night snacks paired with Pepsi Zero Sugar. Anchors enjoyed these snacks while chatting about football, giving viewers a sense of being part of the real event. During the livestream, the hosts also connected with offline late-night snack shops in Chengdu, creating a more immersive experience through live interactions.

During the three-hour livestream, the brand used 10,000 cans of Pepsi Zero Sugar to construct a ‘Wembley Stadium’. They set up interactive activities such as ‘guess the time of construction’ to increase user engagement, along with a lucky draw for UEFA Champions League tickets to maintain viewer interest. Before going live, Pepsi Zero Sugar encouraged consumers to buy 24 cans of Pepsi Zero Sugar through its official website and influencers, leveraging the 618 shopping festival. This not only drove product sales but also generated goodwill and attracted traffic to the livestream.

The soft drink manufacturer’s late-night livestreaming campaign cleverly capitalised on the unique timing of the UEFA Champions League final, targeting the ‘Evening Economy’ of young people. Young consumers, used to staying up late, seek brands that fulfill their night-time needs. Whether it’s late-night snacks or engaging in interactive games, Pepsi Zero Sugar effectively addresses the emotional and experiential needs of young people.

As the UEFA Champions League beer category sponsor, Heineken also targeted fans staying up late to watch the final, promoting the slogan ‘UEFA Champions League, Heineken is with you’, contributing to the Weibo hashtag #UEFA Champions League Final#. This topic gained 3.04 billion views and topped the Hot Search list for a while.


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