Pepsi today (Oct. 18) launched two social media sites to build the buzz around "The X Factor," a British talent show that debuted in the U.S. this fall, featuring former American Idol judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.
The new site Sound Off adds a social layer to the show where fans comment and share posts to earn rewards. Meanwhile, another site called Pulse is Pepsi’s mini-version of Twitter, a searchable stream of viewer comments combined with related tweets and Facebook posts.
While Pulse shows the number of positive and negative comments, the real action is happening over at Sound Off, a site that is organized like Twitter with an added layer of social gaming. Fans log on using their Facebook or Twitter accounts and then may comment, respond to others’ comments, and give a thumbs-up to their favorites. Fans earn “bottle caps” for participating along with titles that reflect ever-increasing status as they move up the ranks from “rookie” to “ambassador.” A Leaderboard tracks each participant.
Pepsi Sound Off provides a social media gathering place for fans without the clutter of Twitter and Facebook, but viewers will need access to a second screen while watching the show on TV. According to a recent Nielsen study, 40 percent of watching TV , and around half of these multitaskers are already tweeting and posting on Facebook while viewing.
What’s the incentive? The four users with the most fans will earn a spot on the "The X Factor," but details have not been released. Already, the Sound Off site is buzzing with speculation about how winning fans will “be in the spotlight.”
Each week the most popular comments will be featured in custom 15-second spots running during "X Factor," according to a report in AdAge. Pepsi is hoping those primetime spots will entice consumers to participate and attract more viewers to the platform.
X Factor may be only the beginning of social media efforts for the beverage giant. Sound Off and Pulse were built to outlast "The X Factor" and could serve as a Pepsi-sponsored gathering place for other shows supported by Pepsi, such as the Super Bowl or the Grammy Awards.