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By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

February 23, 2016 | 3 min read

Pepsi Max has recruited some of the top footballers in the English Premier League and La Liga for a global campaign that will see it place emojis onto its packaging in an effort to win over younger drinkers.

The #Maxfootball campaign will be fronted by Man City striker Sergio Agüero, Real Madrid star James Rodríguez, Belgian captain Vincent Kompany, Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez and Manchester United keeper David de Gea.

The 2016 all-star team will feature in a number of ads in the campaign, the first of which kicked-off today (23 February) with ‘Blue Card’. The ad sees a pair of delivery drivers unexpectedly stumble into an impromptu game of football with the Pepsi football ambassadors who show off with an array of flicks and tricks.

“The Pepsi Max Blue Card was created to stop boredom in its tracks and unleash unexpected moments of fun,” said Carla Hassan, senior vice president of global brand management at PepsiCo Global Beverage Group.

“While the traditional red or yellow card might stop play, the ‘Pepsi Max Blue Card’ signals that things are about to get exciting – which is a perfect kick start to the year for our iconic brand.”

The campaign adds to Pepsi's increased push into football through its recent partnership with the UEFA Champions League. The drinks brand is also rumoured to be lining up a shirt sponsorship deal with current Champion's League holders Barcelona.

As part of its campaign around the competition, Pepsi Max is also launching an augmented reality app which it says will give fans the chance to win football prizes, including match tickets to the quarter-finals and semi-finals and a trip to the UEFA Champions League Final on 28th May in Milan.

The app will launch next month on both iOS and Android and will connect with the brand’s limited edition emoji marketing promotion on its bottles and cans which when scanned triggers an augmented reality notification to alert the drinker as to whether they’ve won a prize.

The campaign launches the Wester Europe leg of Pepsi’s global marketing push for the year that will see it take emojis offline to win over younger drinkers. More than 70 unique emojis have been created to use on its cans, bottles and cup locally and globally in the hope that people use the icons to communicate with one another.

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