You’ve definitely heard of the power of personalization when it comes to video, but just last week Pepsi brought personal to a whole new level.

Positioned as an interactive “film”, the brand released a flash-based video as part of their “Now is What You Make it” campaign for the 2014 World Cup.

Featuring mega football players and pop stars, including Lionel Messi and Janelle Monáe, the choose-your-own-adventure video brings together sport and music in a video you can’t help but watch to the very end. In fact, you might watch it over and over (I sure did!).

Why? Well, not only is the video musical, it’s interactive. As the video’s star runs through the streets of Rio de Janeiro (the home of this year’s World Cup action) you can click different icons for a personalized video experience:

How cool is that?!

Why Interactive is Impressive

Using a multi-linear story style, Pepsi lets you decide what you want to see. If you click Janelle Monáe, she’ll sing a few extra bars of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’. Want to see Messi get mobbed by adoring fans? Click him when he shows up.

The best interaction in my books was the signed football with your name on it mid-video. That’s just flippin’ cool.

Video inception?Also notable is the video’s promo for other pieces of Pepsi content as part of the larger campaign. When you click the wall of graffiti at the end, there’s some promotion going on for the documentary Pepsi has made with six artists about the World Cup. It’s pretty neat that the brand has found a way to promo a video within a video in an interactive new way (besides a simple annotation).

The end of the video also entices you to re-watch the entire piece again because it shows you the clickable interactions you might have missed or skipped as you chose your custom video journey. “5 of 11 found” sure sounds like a challenge to me!

The CTA is awesome

How Pepsi Gets it Right

This video stands out as especially interesting because Pepsi has used cool, interactive tech to tell a fun story. With a playful theme of spontaneity, the video showcases great cameos as surprises throughout, and they focus on music (an overarching theme of many Pepsi ads).

The video pulls you in and keeps you attentive because you’re always waiting for the next opportunity to interact. It’s engagement at it’s finest and it’s a new experience a lot of fans haven’t seen before.

While the YouTube version doesn’t have the interactive abilities, it uses an annotation at the start to drive you to the brand’s website which is clever. From there you can see even more of their content and you start a video journey with them instead of sticking around YouTube.

Overall, this is a great whimsical piece that matches Pepsi’s implied brand persona and it’s impressive that they used interactive video so well. It’s engaging, it’s in line with their legacy messaging, and it’s hip and cool for their target audience of Millenials who will want to share it with friends.

Battle of the Brands!

The question is, which video campaign for the World Cup do you like best? Coca-Cola, the official sponsor of the games put out a great campaign in the same week of April featuring emotional soccer stories.

Check out Coke’s biggest marketing campaign yet and comment with which video (Coke or Pepsi) you like best!

Jennifer Pepper