Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

“Maximum taste, no sugar.” – What did this beverage brand do to promote an UNBELIEVABLE truth? [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

November 10, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:

Welcome to “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!” 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this term yet, guerrilla marketing is an unconventional, engaging, impactful, and easy-to-execute marketing strategy. 

According to Jay Conrad Levinson, campaigns of this type spark an emotional reaction that enables consumers to effectively remember a brand. 

Today, we’re excited to share with you an example of an innovative and mind-blowing guerrilla marketing stunt. 

Read on to know how this beverage brand maximized the use of technology to promote its UNBELIEVABLY new product in 2014. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

Imagine you’re sitting alone at a bus stop. As you wait for your ride, various weird occurrences suddenly happen. 

One passerby gets abducted by an alien… 

A lion from the nearby zoo is on the loose and zookeepers are running after it… 

Two cars collide near the area of the bus stop… 

As you witness these scenarios, you wonder to yourself: 

“Am I just seeing things or are these really happening?” 

In 2014, a similar scenario happened in a guerrilla marketing campaign conducted by a beverage company at a bus stop in London. The goal of the campaign was to promote an UNBELIEVABLY new product. 

The name of that company? 


Photo from CSRwire

PepsiCo is a multinational food and beverage company headquartered in New York. It oversees the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of its products that include: 

  • Pepsi
  • Gatorade
  • Tropicana
  • 7Up
  • Mountain Dew

… and more. 

As of 2021, PepsiCo owns 23 food and beverage brands and sells its products in over 200 countries. 

Pepsi MAX: Maximum Taste, No Sugar 

Pepsi MAX, also known as Pepsi Black in some countries, is a low-calorie, sugar-free soda primarily sold in Asian and European markets. It serves as an alternative to Pepsi and Diet Pepsi. 

When the product was first launched and advertised, PepsiCo used the taglines, “Maximum Taste, No Sugar” and “Don’t worry, there’s no sugar!” 

While these captured the attention of many consumers, some also questioned the truthfulness of these selling propositions. 

So, what did PepsiCo do to bring Pepsi MAX’s “unbelievable” nature to life? 

Guerrilla Marketing

In March 2014, PepsiCo partnered with marketing agency AMV BBDO to transform a busy bus stop in London’s New Oxford Street into an interactive digital shelter. The campaign team’s aim was to dramatize Pepsi MAX’s “unbelievable” truth to entertain hard-to-please millennials with bite-sized content that packed an emotional punch. 

Here’s how PepsiCo and AMV BBDO executed the guerrilla marketing strategy: 

Using a bus stop wrapped in Pepsi MAX vinyl stickers, the campaign team developed an augmented reality (AR) experience that projected unbelievable scenarios through the bus shelter’s window. Bespoke 2D and 3D assets were realistically composited into a live feed of the street ahead using depth mapping. 

To make the AR window look realistic, a hidden camera was placed on the external side to capture what was actually happening on the street. As a result, anyone inside the bus stop thought it was just an ordinary window until various unbelievable scenarios took place. 

What were these scenarios? 

A giant laser-shooting robot… 

An incoming fiery asteroid… 

A manhole with giant tentacles emerging from the inside… 

A tiger running loose… 

… and more! 

These scenarios caught unsuspecting commuters and passersby’s attention. Their reactions were epic, as some jumped out of their seats, ran out of shock, and shouted, while others were amused and took photos and videos of the AR experience to share on social media. 

The “Unbelievable Bus Shelter” campaign lasted for the whole month of March 2014. The footage captured on day one of the guerrilla marketing stunt was turned into a 2-minute video that was uploaded on YouTube. 

Was Pepsi MAX’s “Unbelievable Bus Shelter” campaign effective? 

Many of those who witnessed the campaign firsthand were amazed with Pepsi MAX’s strategy. Some even commented that the “Unbelievable Bus Shelter” was the next innovative stage of combining digital out-of-home (DOOH) platforms with cutting-edge technology. 

This revolutionized how Londoners saw city streets and brought a unique experience to their daily lives! 

What were the results of the guerrilla marketing stunt? 

  • In just 5 days, the campaign video garnered over 3 million views on YouTube! Throughout the duration of the campaign, the video had a total of 8 million views. 
  • The “Unbelievable Bus Shelter” became a PR frenzy, with news about it spreading as far as Australia and Brazil, and generating a global reach of approximately 385 million people. 
  • Media outlets ITN and CNN featured the viral guerrilla marketing campaign in their news segments, and BBC Click aired a 3-minute feature on the technology used in the campaign. 
  • Pepsi MAX’s year-on-year (YoY) sales went up by 35% from March 2013 to March 2014. 
  • The “Unbelievable Bus Shelter” received around 20 awards, including a Bronze Outdoor Lion at the Cannes Lions Awards and a Wood Pencil at the D&AD Awards—both in 2015. 

Great job, PepsiCo and AMV BBDO! You deserve a round of applause for this UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME guerrilla marketing campaign! 

*Clap clap clap* 


According to an article published by The Verge, Pepsi MAX’s bus stop ad in London might be the best use of AR technology so far. 

Think about this: If you’re a commuter, waiting for a ride to arrive at a bus stop can be a dull experience. So, when PepsiCo and AMV BBDO brought some surprises to a London bus shelter, people’s waiting time got interesting. 

At least, they had something to keep themselves occupied while waiting for their ride! 

What else? 

By showcasing unbelievable scenarios through the interactive bus stop window, the campaign team delivered its message: While Pepsi MAX seems “unbelievable” for its maximum-taste-and-no-sugar content, its marketing is true and entertaining, and the soda itself packs a punch for those who’d try it. 

Get inspired with today’s guerrilla marketing feature! 

By using the right platforms and technologies, you can also leverage your brand’s marketing and offer your target audience an interactive experience they’ll remember for a long time. 

It’s time to think of an UNBELIEVABLY fun, engaging, and memorable campaign that will give your customers the time of their lives too! 

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu 

Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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