Cannes Lions

Why India celebrated ‘being single’ on Valentine’s Day

MINDSHARE, Gurgaon / PEPSICO / 2020

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Be it thousands of our movies, or gods being represented as couples, Indians grow up on a diet of coupling and pursuits of romantic bliss. In pop-culture, every story is a tragedy if the single doesn’t become a couple. With 7 out of 10 boys being single (15-30 years), this peer pressure and social judgment make the majority of youngsters feel like losers.

Relationship status defines their social worth. Especially on valentine’s day when society, brands, pop-culture are all celebrating love, they feel even more isolated.

Pepsi, the brand that embodies the irrepressibility of youth challenged this labeling of singles on Valentine’s Day via:

•Empowering all singles to believe that they are not incomplete if they are not in a relationship.

•Bringing people together to start conversations around this prejudiced behaviour

•Share Pepsi’s content on mass direct platforms to drive awareness and build virality



Single brave hearts subjected to judgments and societal pressure just because they were not in a relationship.

Media Planning, Approach:

Capture the audience on their most preferred media platform, digital. Create a mobile & social media first campaign to emphasise the idea.

Built anticipation initially around the ‘Counter POV’ before the release of the anthem across social media, and by activating digital PR.

Leveraged platforms with the highest reach and time spent; YouTube and Facebook/Instagram. Introduced the anthem on the T-series YouTube channel (world’s largest YouTube channel), and on the Instagram handle of India’s most popular & eligible single, Salman Khan. Him being the flagbearer of the movement made the celebration appropriate and resonated brilliantly with the stated audience.

This was followed up with #challenge activation on the most popular social platform, TikTok. Multiple macro and micro influencers were roped in to participate, thus ensuring the scale


1. Influence the masses by co-creating the anthem with the movie industry’s finest entertainers: Composed by rising star Tanishq Bagchi, directed by ace choreographer Remo D’Souza, starring Bollywood superstar Salman Khan – this was cause-marketing in its foot-tapping best

2. Collaborating with the world’s largest YouTube Channel, T-Series: Launched for mobile viewing this was the celebratory soundtrack of a singleton’s life directly streamed to 120Mn subscribers

3. Disrupt social media with a viral challenge on TikTok via interactive filters: Kickstarted by Salman Khan and popularised by 200 micro-influencers Pepsi instigated singles to be unapologetic about their relationship status on social media Our influencers spread the narrative of self-love by wearing the badge of being solo with pride with ‘Swag-Se-Solo’ profile display filters. Launched as a mobile-optimized video-sharing challenge on Tiktok, a three-day Pepsi #SwagStepChallenge dared the unattached Indian to say it out loud with a cool social media dance


Valentine’s Day became truly inclusive - society & media celebrated the unattached!

• With 99% positive sentiment and over 120Mn views, Pepsi’s #SwagSeSolo was

1.Most viewed music video of Valentine’s Day.

2.Top 3 on YouTube Music during Valentine’s Week.

3.One of YouTube’s biggest branded music of the Year 2020.

• Within just 4 days the TikTok social challenge got 5.4 billion views!! As thousands of people published UGC videos celebrating singlehood

•Fastest branded #challenge globally averaging 540 videos uploaded/hour (9 videos/minute)!

• Attracted 200+ earned media stories achieving 6,30,000$ PR Value (INR 45.3Mn). Most importantly generated more than 150,000 conversations around this issue

Pepsi was ‘choice of the Young Generation’:

• Overshot operating Sales Volume target in the month of Feb-20 by 2.9x vs 2019. Becoming the ‘Choice of the New Generation’ by Beating Coke on key KPIs of youth (Q1’20 vs Q1’19) with a positive movement of 10 points

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