Pepsi & IPL – A perfect combo for Summer Internship


I am currently pursuing my PGDM – Communications from MICA.

I was fortunate to intern in PepsiCo India and work in the Digital Marketing team for the biggest sporting event in India – The Pepsi IPL. The internship was not just full of enormous learning but also the most exciting and fun filled internship that one could ever think of.

The PepsiCo India digital team handles all the PepsiCo brands – Lays, Kurkure, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Slice, 7 Up, Quaker Oats and Gatorade on all the social platforms. They work round the clock, 365 and days an year. It is an extremely dedicated team that is always on its toes for any help that any brand requires. They truly know that Digital is the future and for an FMCG brand, digital is a key that would open several avenues for them in future.

The work culture at PepsiCo is definitely a culture that one could only dream of in a work place. For a student like me, who wants to pursue Brand management, it is definitely one of the top companies to work for. PepsiCo follows an open door policy and all the brand managers sit on a single floor and you could walk up to anyone for any kind of conversation and they would be glad to be a part of it. It used to be thrilling for me to hear brand managers having conversations with Ranbir and Katrina (brand ambassadors –Ranbir for Pepsi and Katrina for Slice) over the phone and you could easily hear them. You could hear them talk about thousands of brilliant and creative ideas in their day to day conversations. The marketing floor of PepsiCo is definitely one of the biggest learning grounds for a student. Another exciting part of the PepsiCo office is the warmth with which everyone greets each other. Right from Ashok Bhaiya – who served me tea and coffee whenever I needed to even the CMO. PepsiCo always has all its products at your disposal and whenever you are hungry, Lays, Kurkure and Pepsi are always available for you. That definitely makes PepsiCo, an awesome workplaceJ

Coming down to my work, initially I was given a sneak preview of all the PepsiCo brands along with the different ongoing digital campaigns of each of them. A major part of my learning during the internship came from visiting and spending a day or two with several different agencies that PepsiCo works with. The agencies included – Media agency, several digital agencies, Creative agency, mainline agencies, PR agencies and online listening agencies (Not naming them, since it is confidential). The learnings that I gathered from every single visit was like a mini internship for me. I was briefed about the entire structure of each agency, the major work that they undergo and was also made a part of their day to day work. Every session gave me a new perspective towards not only the kind of work carried out by them but also opened me up to an extremely different work culture. The stark difference between a client side culture and an agency side culture was clearly visible to me. Both the cultures are exciting, however it is up to us to decide as to where do we find the perfect fit.

The campaigns that I was assigned to work on were all the digital campaigns of the Pepsi IPL 2014. My mentor showed a great deal of confidence in me to not only work on these projects but also lead them from the front. The 2 main campaigns that I worked on were – @ThatPepsiIntern and Tweet20.

1. @ThatPepsiIntern – Pepsi’s main campaign of this IPL season. A Twitter based campaign involving 15 winners (called Interns) spread over the entire duration of the IPL. They were the face of Pepsi of the IPL and brought all the Inside action of the IPL on to twitter. The had all access to stadiums, players, teams, VIP Box, celebs etc. It was an intergrated real time campaign that personified brand Pepsi via User Generated Content. The campaign involved a hectic schedule and the entire brainstorming, idea generation, execution, media planning, logistics was done by a core team and we worked continuously for the entire IPL season to make the campaign a success.

We had a reach of millions with a lot of action on our official twitter handle  -@ThatPepsiIntern. Several IPL teams also interacted with us on twitter and it was an extremely successful campaign and we got covered on several media channels.

Our Success stories are many and here is one of them –

2. Tweet20 – This was another campaign that I worked on. It was an online game that brought Cricket live on to Twitter. The concept of the game was that the official twitter handle of Pepsi will tweet different kinds of bowls over a duration of an hour and the user need to choose and play from some pre-defined cricket shots. The right shots would earn them runs and the wrongs shots would make them out. We got huge traction on this as well with thousands of users playing the game. We also introduced one on one game play this year wherein users could challenge their friends and play with them. Pepsi tweet20 was also a huge success.

Along with the 2 major campaigns that I was a part of I also handled several ongoing projects and I was completely made to feel that I am an integral part of the Pepsi digital team and not just an intern. I was a part of organizing launch parties for our campaigns and also for events involving the IPL teams. I was a part of organizing an event at the Ambience mall in Gurgaon with the Delhi Daredevils team.

The bonus of the internship was when I was made to travel to Bangalore and watch the Pepsi IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore from the exclusive VIP Box. It was an out of the world experience and something that would stay with me forever.

There are thousands of special memories that the internship has given me (some of which I cannot even share due to confidentiality issues) and I am truly glad to have interned with PepsiCo. It was truly a dream internship and definitely an internship that any MBA graduate would look forward to.

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Read about another MICA student, Jennifer Jacob’s summer internship with Lóreal