One Direction Puts on Football Gear in Follow-Up to Viral Ad [PICS]

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1. One Direction Teaser Photo for New Pepsi Ad

Photos given to Mashable from Pepsi

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An alternate ending to Pepsi's popular commercial featuring boy band One Direction and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will debut Thursday night during The X Factor broadcast. This time, the guys will be decked in football gear, as seen in the above teaser photos Pepsi shared with Mashable.

The original ad came out Oct. 10 and sparked heavy buzz on social media before, during and after its premiere.

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Thursday's follow-up will air after One Direction's performance on The X Factor, the U.S. spin-off of the UK show on which the guys were discovered. The spot drove 70% of Pepsi's social TV commentary during launch week and helped Pepsi become the most-discussed brand on Twitter for two weeks, according to Bluefin data.

Update: Here's the ad, which premiered Thursday night:

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We asked two PepsiCo Beverages executives about the brand's digital strategy for the commercials:

How did you prepare for the original ads debut and how did people immediately respond?

"The social media plan for the original commercial included seeding it with the One Direction fans first, so we put out a teaser video across the Pepsi social networks and messaged 1D fan accounts on Twitter with the link. We used Promoted Tweets to target keywords that #Directioners use to seed the teaser as well. On the day of the broadcast premiere we posted the entire commercial on YouTube and gave the link out to One Direction fans, again via Twitter messages. By the time the spot aired during The X Factor broadcast it had generated more than 300,000 views. When it aired the social mentions increased again, with Pepsi and 1DPepsi trending worldwide on Twitter." ~ Andrea Harrison, director digital engagement

Pepsi is good at leveraging top-charting musicians, but why rope in Drew Brees, too?

"Pepsi has a long legacy of driving fan engagement through exciting partnerships in the world of music and sports. Our relationship with the NFL spans more than 20 years and we have been activating with MLB, NASCAR and other professional sports and top athletes for years. At the same time, our history in music includes work with the biggest stars in pop music. We know our fans are passionate about their favorite athletes and artists -- we wanted to have some fun by bringing those two worlds together. We have a long-standing relationship with Drew Brees dating back to working together on the Pepsi Refresh Project and his great charitable work in New Orleans, so we immediately thought of him for this spot. It may seem like an unexpected pairing, but Drew Brees turned out to be the perfect foil for the guys in One Direction. We all had a lot of fun filming the spot and we were able to capture a lot of fun content to share with fans digitally. The Making of 1DB mockumentary was something that we developed on-set based on the great chemistry and improvisations that were happening as we filmed the ad." ~ Eric Whitehouse, director of marketing

Was it always the plan to release an alternate ending or did the original's success spark this?

"We always knew we would have two different versions of the ad, but we were not certain about how we would use them until we saw the fan reaction to the original spot. We had sports fans and music fans sparking conversation about every detail of the original spot –- we thought it would be great to surprise them with a second version of it. What we didn’t know is how much great content we would get to complement the TV spot. The outtakes and mockumentary pieces all grew out of the great chemistry between Drew and the band." ~ Whitehouse

Anything else you want to add?

"We took a different approach to this campaign than we have with others in the past. While it includes a television spot, TV was not really the center of the activation -- it was a truly integrated approach. By leveraging social channels to tap into sports and music fan communities we were really able to foster a sense of discovery and deep engagement with the campaign. We have seen fans getting excited when they catch the spot on TV -- they’ve already viewed it multiple times, shared it with friends and have memorized the entire spot before they ever saw it on TV. The day the ad debuted on TV and on our social channels, One Direction and Pepsi were trending topics online in the US and globally -- that is when we knew we had struck a chord with consumers." ~ Whitehouse

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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