Pepsi has unveiled a new multiyear global marketing campaign, complete with a new tagline -- "Live for Now" -- and commercials featuring the biggest names in music. First up in the campaign is Nicki Minaj, whose 2010 single "Moment for Life" acts as soundtrack for the ad, out May 7.
It's a deal that will make Minaj a worldwide spokeswoman and also give her enough fodder to fuel two songs' worth of material on her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.
"Nicki has momentum. She's a maverick," Frank Cooper, PepsiCo chief marketing officer of global consumer engagement, told Billboard in this week's cover story. "She represents the kind of artist who's in the moment, making things happen on her own terms."
As first reported by Ad Age, Pepsi is also prepping a 25th-anniversary campaign in mid-May commemorating the release of Michael Jackson's Bad. Billboard has learned the program will include a series of remixes from superstar DJs - Diplo and A-Trak are among the names mentioned to be connected with the project. The exclusive tracks are set to be accessed through a special Pepsi-can promotion where fans can scan a code with their phone to hear a song. (Cooper calls the strategy SoLoMo, or Social/Local/Mobile.)
Jackson, of course, famously struck a ground-breaking, multifaceted endorsement/sponsorship deal with Pepsi in 1983, and was also infamously burned by an accidental fire during a 1984 commercial shoot.
And, coming later this year, is an initiative that Cooper believes will make Pepsi a "major player in the music ecosystem," one that has already led to discussions with heavy-hitters like Warner Music Group chairman/CEO of recorded music Lyor Cohen, Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine and Universal Music Group chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge.
Though Cooper's unable to talk specifics, what he is able to say suggests that Pepsi is looking to partner with labels in a major way: "The industry has certain market failures and structural gaps, so we're looking at how we might fill those, and see how those will open up opportunities to generate some revenue [for the industry]."
Pepsi's chief rival, Coca-Cola, recently announced the launch of "Move to the Beat," one of the brand's largest ad campaigns to date, created to support its sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Find out more about the revived "Cola Wars" in the latest issue of Billboard and read an excerpt on Billboard.biz.