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Can You Taste Pepsi on the Internet?

PepsiCo, which is among the top users of digital media, has embarked upon a new experiment.

Today new Pepsi NEXT, claimed to be the first cola to deliver real cola taste with 60% less sugar, unveiled what is said to be the world’s first “Internet Taste Test”, a digital incarnation of the product’s premise, “Drink it to Believe it.”

Focused on driving consumer trial and brand engagement, the Pepsi NEXT marketing campaign encourages consumers to take their first sip of the cola, whether it’s across 800 Walmart Supercenters or more than 40 cities conducting sampling events or online via the Internet Taste Test.

[ Also Read: PepsiCo Asks You to Imagine the Future of Digital ]

The Internet Taste Test, a unique experience on, invites cola lovers to opt in for a chance to watch themselves “taste” new Pepsi NEXT through the power and humor of improv.

Funny or Die comedians and actors will do their best impressions of selected consumer and notable personalities’ “online personas” trying Pepsi NEXT, using relevant information from their profiles, such as recent “experiences” and “likes.”

[ Also Read: Pepsi Unveils New Social TV Platform ]

“To launch Pepsi NEXT, we’re focused on getting consumers to ‘Drink it to Believe it’ – even online, in a fun and uniquely digital way,” said Shiv Singh, head of Digital, PepsiCo Beverages.

“The Pepsi NEXT Internet Taste Test demonstrates how a brand can utilize social media to create consumer-driven, personalized branded entertainment.”

The Internet Taste Test kicks off with a video starring actor and comedian Rob Riggle who describes how the test works while watching his online persona “trying” Pepsi NEXT and referencing his “likes,” from skeet shooting to painting with water colors.

In addition to Riggle’s “how-to” video, fans can also watch humorous video impressions featuring notable figures in social culture “taking their first sip,” including Internet mogul Gary Vaynerchuk and Internet meme, Scumbag Steve.

[ Also Read: China: New Battleground for PepsiCo and Coca-Cola ]

The Pepsi NEXT Internet Taste Test was created by the internal PepsiCo Beverages team, digital agency The Barbarian Group and Funny or Die. The shoot will take place in Los Angeles over the course of five days, using four simultaneous sound stages and 12 notable Funny or Die improv comedians.

The fan videos will then be edited and posted back to selected users in approximately 24 hours of the shoot. It was announced today, April 3.

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