PepsiCo’s campaign puts the spotlight on Rider

Students and a production crew gather in the Student Recreation Center to be a part of the new Pepsi Dream Machine video, which will be released nationally through Pepsi’s social media channels.

By Lauren Santye
Several Rider students received their claims to fame when they starred in a video for the Pepsi Dream Machine Recycling campaign on Oct. 30.

Pepsi’s video aims to motivate college students to participate in sustainability programs.

“They are producing a video which demonstrates the ease and importance of responsibly recycling beverage containers,” said John Lenox, assistant vice president of communications and marketing at Rider. “An important element of this nationally distributed video is to have students on campus highlighted, and they [Pepsi] chose Rider because we are a leader in on-campus recycling and are well known for our commitment to sustainability.”

Currently, Rider is ranked No. 2 in the highest number of recycled beverage containers per kiosk with 3,191.
Pepsi’s Minneapolis-based public relations agency, Olson Engage, produced the campaign video with a film crew of about 15.

The one-day shoot involved a number of people who appeared in and helped make the video.

Ana Nguyen, a sophomore communication major who starred in the video, was excited to be a part of filming.

“To this day I can still feel the exhilaration I got from being under the lights, working with such a great, passionate crew, knowing I was part of a professional project,” Nguyen said. “I will never forget how incredible and unreal it felt to be in front of that camera.”

Becka Hoppe, a senior psychology and Spanish double major, was another student selected to be a part of the shoot.
“Overall, it was an incredible experience,” Hoppe said. “I found out about it because I was asked by Admissions to give the camera crew a tour of Rider to find out if the school would be a good fit for the commercial. From there, the camera crew asked me to send in my headshot and I was chosen.”

Hoppe was very proud of her Zeta Tau Alpha sister, Nguyen, who was the center of attention.

“I think my favorite part of the whole experience was how happy one of my sisters in my sorority, Ana Nguyen, was when she was starring as the lead,” she said. “She kept thanking me for introducing her to the opportunity. She was so happy, it made my day.”

The shoot took place in the locker rooms and lobby of the Student Recreation Center, the first-floor lounge of Wright Hall and a room on the first floor of Ziegler Hall.

The video, which will be released nationally through Pepsi’s social media channels, will promote sustainability and some of Rider’s hard work.

Keira Aukamp, a senior psychology major, was proud to be able to promote how well Rider has been doing with its sustainability efforts.

“Working on the commercial was such an awesome experience,” Aukamp said. “It was so cool to not only be in a national commercial, but to be able to have my campus in a national commercial. I have a lot of pride for this school and the opportunities that it has presented me.”

Lenox felt that the video was made possible because of collective help from the Rider community.
“From Rider’s perspective, it was truly a team effort, everyone from Public Safety, Facilities, Auxiliary Services, the Provost’s Office, Legal, Residence Life, Student Affairs, the Fine Arts Department and many more had a hand in making the shoot a success — not to mention the 25 or so students that had a chance to appear on camera.”

PepsiCo has made a commitment to increase the recycling rate to 50% by the year 2018.
“It takes only a small change in behavior to make a big difference for our planet,” PepsiCo said on its website. “If every household in the U.S. recycled just three more plastic bottles, we could divert more than 23 million pounds of plastic from our landfills.”

In order to make the hopes of a cleaner planet come true, PepsiCo created what they call the Dream Machines.

According to, the Dream Machines are “computerized, interactive recycling receptacles that use an innovative system to reward users with points for every bottle or can they recycle into the kiosk. Users can redeem their points for local discounts on entertainment, dining and traveling, by visiting the website.”

Lenox was pleased by the opportunities the campaign presented.

“We were excited to bring Pepsi on campus as it gave Rider an opportunity to showcase our talented students, our campus, our community and highlight our continued commitment to sustainability,” he said.

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