For its campaign with Beyoncé next year, Pepsi doesn’t just want to sign up the telegenic pop star for another TV commercial. It also wants to get into the Beyoncé business.
In an expansion of the recent marketing experiments that have brought PepsiCo ever closer to the music industry, the company has embarked on a hybrid project with Beyoncé that will include standard advertising like commercials as well as a multimillion-dollar fund to support the singer’s chosen creative projects.
“Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve,” Beyoncé said in a statement. “As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity.”
The campaign will coincide with a blitz of promotion for her next album, which has no title or release date so far but is expected in 2013. Sometime after she performs at the Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 3 (also sponsored by Pepsi), Beyoncé will appear in a new TV ad — her fifth for the soft drink since 2002 — and her face will be on a limited-edition line of soda cans.
The less conventional aspects of the deal are meant as collaborative projects that indulge Beyoncé’s creative whims, and might well have no explicit connection to Pepsi products. They are still at the brainstorm stage, but could include live events, videos, “a cool photo shoot” or almost anything else, said Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, the general manager of Parkwood Entertainment, Beyoncé’s company.
For Pepsi, the goal is to enhance its reputation with consumers by acting as something of an artistic patron instead of simply paying for celebrity endorsements.
“Consumers are seeking a much greater authenticity in marketing from the brands they love,” said Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group. “It’s caused a shift in the way we think about deals with artists, from a transactional deal to a mutually beneficial collaboration.”