Pepsi Beat Runner

Jakub Jakubowski

Pepsi: Beat Runner

‘A rhythm game, where the player controls his favourite football star to the beat of a banger tune – we are once again pushing what can be done in an Instagram filter.’

Jakub Jakubowski, Game Director, UNIT9

The background

Pepsi wanted to mark its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League in a fun,
engaging way. So, together with COPA90 agency, we gave fans the chance to show off their skills and play as the world’s top football stars.

Pepsi Beat Runner

The execution

Beat Runner is an augmented reality game that combines music and sports. Available on Pepsi’s global Instagram profile, it challenges users to control their favourite footballers, put their agility to the test, and get grooving to a catchy rhythm.

The fast-paced game features four of the world’s top players: Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho, and Shanice Van De Sanden. Once you choose your star, the lens prompts you to tilt your head up and down to control the movement of their avatar and collect as many balls as possible. And at the end, you can pose with your footballer for a photo, show off your high score, and challenge your friends to beat it.

Pepsi Beat Runner

Our team is constantly pushing the boundaries of Instagram filters and AR effects, paying careful attention to what drives genuine engagement and connections among users. With Beat Runner, we designed and developed 3D characters that were impressively similar to the players in real life. Because it was such a technological achievement, the AR game found an audience well beyond the footballing world.

Pepsi Beat Runner


Fans took to Beat Runner instantly, and as we suspected, it generated a ton of use and shares. It was especially exciting to see so much repeat use, proving that we created something worth reposting. The organic impressions are sky-high, as Messi, Pogba, Sancho, and van de Sanden have a combined 230+ million followers on Instagram alone. Fans will continue to find the game on their profiles for years to come. The AR game brought fans closer than ever to their favourite stars—a much-needed boost during a season when they can’t experience the magic of the game in the stands.

Pepsi Beat Runner