N icki Minaj isn't the only musician to star in a major ad for PepsiCo this week.
Lady Antebellum debuted new 30-second TV spots for Lipton Tea & Honey and Lipton 100% Natural, a new product created in partnership by Pepsi and Unilever. In the CGI-laden spot, created with ad agency DDB, the band lights up -- literally -- with the drink's "100% natural" ingredients just before it performs hit single "We Owned The Night" to a sold-out crowd.
The spot is just one piece of Lipton's biggest musical marketing push to date -- encompassing print, digital and radio ads, retail promotions, meet-and-greets -- on the band's summer U.S. tour (currently running through June 30 before heading to the U.K. and an original Web series called "Drink Positive" that also debuted this week.
The deal represents Lady A's largest brand relationship to date -- something manager Gary Borman of Borman Entertainment doesn't take lightly.
"We've been involved in many [deals]," Borman told Billboard in March of the Lipton program. "Some have succeeded and some have failed. But the Lipton people have been so respectful of the band's brand that it made it really easy to marry these two cultures."
That need for authenticity is shared deeply by the band's members. Singer Hillary Scott said she and bandmates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood have been drinking Lipton teas their entire lives and even request it in their riders on tour. Haywood noted, "It's important to us that any brand we partner with shares a genuine and positive image with their own fans, similar to the one that we try and share with ours."
It doesn't hurt that that the Lipton product being pushed brings to mind the band's single "American Honey," a connection that wasn't lost on Scott. "We know our fans really love that song because it takes you back to your childhood," she says. "Its message is really positive and lines up perfectly with the Lipton spirit."