Coke Is the Official Sponsor, but Pepsi Scores First on Web

Coke may be the official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, but Pepsi’s 2.5-minute “Oh Africa” is the first World Cup ad to make the viral chart, and portends well for Pepsi’s revamped social-media strategy.

Pepsi took a pass on the Super Bowl for the first time in 23 years in 2010, and CEO Indra Nooyi has said the company is shifting as much as a third of its marketing budget to social media. But “social” doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap.” Pepsi’s video effort is big-budget with visual effects and stars the biggest names in the game, including Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.

Will online video help Pepsi find a way to own the World Cup without actually being in the World Cup?

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