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Struggling Pepsi plans massive ad boost to cash in on X Factor Cowell connection

Pepsico is betting the ranch on Pepsi’s sponsorship of the forthcoming launch of Simon Cowell’s X Factor talent show in the US by making it the centrepiece of its entire marketing campaign.

The company is to increase its US adspend by around 30 per cent as it battles to revive sales of the fizzy drink. New figures from Beverage Digest later this week are expected to show that the long-time number two soft drink in the US has dropped to third place for the first time behind Coke and Diet Coke.

Massimo D’Amore, chief executive of PepsiCo Beverages Americas, says: “this is a big bet for us financially. It is a marketing renaissance for Pepsi.”

Pepsico has concentrated on sales of juices, teas and sports drinks in recent years but is now prepared to spend a further $60m or so on a combined TV and digital campaign to restore Pepsi to past glories.

The X Factor’s American version featuring acerbic judge Cowell, who stands to receive 14 per cent of the show’s revenues, debuts on Fox in September.

Rival Coke sponsors high rating talent show American Idol, owned by Cowell’s former partner and now rival Simon Fuller. Cowell was also a judge on American Idol.

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