PepsiCo’s AMP Energy kicks the contest volume up

Canada's best virtual rock bands compete this Saturday, with live streaming and voting on Facebook determining who walks away with 100 large.

After traveling to 39 college and university campuses across Canada over three months looking for the best Rock Band 2 videogame players, PepsiCo’s AMP Your Game National Gaming Tour culminates in an AMP Energy $100,000 Rock Off at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square main stage this Saturday, as part of the North by Northeast festival. Saturday’s finale will take place in front of a celebrity judging panel and the event will be streaming live on the AMP Energy Canada Facebook page, where fans from across the world will be casting their votes to help determine the winning band.

The event, which targets the 18 to 25 demo with the goal of creating awareness and trial of AMP, tapped into the very media sources where the majority of its consumers spend their time. The brand had gamers auditioning in a national Rock Band 2 contest from February to April, amassing more than 15,000 fans throughout the tour – with its PepsiCo product sampled at all tour stops, and also at the Saturday Rock Off.

Voting for the virtual rock bands also took place on Facebook throughout the tour (each performance video was posted for one week and the bands solicited votes for their clip), and at each campus, a winning band was declared and moved onto the semi-finals on the AMP Energy Canada Facebook page. The four finalist bands, with names like Chemical Toilet, Tactical Hands, GSpot Boyz and Meta Casa, come from across the country including the University of Calgary, University of Winnipeg, York University and Bishop’s University campuses.

OMD, which recommended and purchased the media on Facebook and on each campus (newspapers and magazines), worked closely with BBDO/Proximity, which in turn developed the creative, to recommend the best ways to engage its target audience from a media POV.

Toronto-based PraxisPR developed the media relations campaign, while CIM/Launch! handled the overall planning and execution of the program at campuses, as well as the finale.

Both AMP Your Game National Gaming Tour and the AMP Energy $100,000 Rock Off! Contest were promoted online on Facebook, and on each of the 39 campuses the tour visited, with wild-postings and hand-outs given directly to the students leading up to the execution on the campus.

‘Facebook has essentially housed the entire program,’ Cheryl Radisa, VP consumer marketing, PepsiCo Beverages Canada tells MiC. ‘It has been used as our main online communication vehicle.’ Radisa also says Facebook was chosen as the central platform for the program because its built-in capabilities create production efficiencies like leveraging the video player, photo albums and events pages. ‘Facebook allows for viral propagation of our message as users interact with the page through wall posts, votes and comments on videos,’ she says.

‘Directly on campuses was the best way to target this demo,’ says Radisa. ‘AMP Energy went right to the students, and provided them with an interactive and engaging experience – this is a big prize and got students very excited.’

AMP Your Game will also set up a free gaming venue and lounge to enjoy the music festival at Yonge-Dundas Square starting today through Sunday. The Playstation 3 platform/console will be used for the $100,000 Rock Off! contest and finale, and throughout the tour consumers played different game titles on PS3 as well. Xbox 360 is another gaming platforms provided during the tour. Ubisfoft Games also provided a variety of games for consumers to try, as did Brady Games.