PepsiCo Experiments with Smart Cans, AI Tech to Improve Personalisation

PepsiCo Experiments with Smart Cans, AI Tech to Improve Personalisation

Pepsico’s Gatorade and Pepsi unveiled AI Hydration Coach and Smart Can — AI-powered technology for enhancing personalisation. 

PepsiCo previewed new experiments at Cannes Lions that meld marketing, design and technology with a focus on levelling up personalisation

Gatorade’s AI Hydration Coach Anna taps into the tech of the moment, applying AI to educate users about the best ways to stay hydrated through an assistant that draws on decades of historical data from the sport beverage brand’s research institute. The concept leans into the idea that AI has the power to democratise services that were once exclusive, giving everyday consumers the type of expert guidance usually reserved for elite athletes.

At Cannes Lions, Anna was available via a touchscreen interface and presented as a virtual avatar wearing a shirt and blazer. Users could ask specific questions related to their hydration needs but also more lighthearted ones, like what Anna’s favourite flavour of Gatorade is. The AI Hydration Coach is aiming for a pilot in a small number of markets in either late 2024 or early 2025, with the goal of eventually engaging consumers at different online and physical touchpoints like in-store displays, a spokesperson said.  

Sister brand Pepsi’s innovation toyed with the iconography of the soda can, reinventing it as an “interactive portal” equipped with digital screens, cutting-edge sound technology and motion sensors. The marketer positioned the Smart Can — which, despite its shape, does not contain soda — as a way to deliver personalised experiences to fans and potentially send exclusive assets, such as access codes.

Smart Cans will factor into future Pepsi promotions with creators around gaming, sports and more, though they are not currently available to purchase at retail. The timeline of the Smart Can marketing efforts wasn’t immediately clear beyond Pepsi having more to share in the coming months.