- PepsiCo and JetBlue are celebrating the airline's switch from Coca-Cola by making a temporary change to New York City's skyline. The beverage maker added JetBlue's logo to its 60-foot landmark sign that's overlooked the East River from Long Island City for more than 80 years, according to an announcement.
- The companies encourage social media users to include the hashtag #PepsiOnJetBlue as they share pictures of the sign, which will revert back to normal by Oct. 1.
- PepsiCo worked with local leaders, including the New York City Landmark and Preservation Commission, Queens West Development Corporation and New York State Parks Department to ensure the historic sign is preserved. JetBlue's in-air selection of PepsiCo products includes Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Sierra Mist Zero Sugar and Bubly Sparkling Water in Lime. The airline will add Aquafina mineral water next year.
PepsiCo and JetBlue's joint marketing effort aims to celebrate the companies' shared hometown of New York City, although it isn't without controversy. PepsiCo's sign was designated a city landmark in 2016, making alterations to the structure subject to the approval of city authorities. Some residents of Long Island City objected to the temporary JetBlue inclusion, and contacted city officials to voice their concerns, The Wall Street Journal reported. The installation didn't require a hearing or community approval because it's temporary and will be removed within 180 days, but only after spurring brand buzz online and earning significant media attention.
JetBlue's out-of-home (OOH) advertising efforts in recent years has urged fans to share pictures on social media. The airline last year promoted its new route between New York and Ontario, California, with an augmented reality (AR) app that let shopping mall visitors see digital images of New York landmarks through their smartphone. In March, JetBlue ran a sweepstakes that offered free travel to Instagram users who deleted all their posts on the image-sharing app, creating a "blank slate" to fill with pictures from their travels on the airline.
Meanwhile, the airline decided to switch to PepsiCo from Coca-Cola in order to expand its selection of flavored seltzers offered to passengers, reflecting a growing consumer trend. As part of its contract with Coca-Cola, JetBlue had a package deal of 10 beverages that included Seagram's Seltzer Water in a single flavor. PepsiCo not only offers its Bubly flavored seltzers, but also allows JetBlue the flexibility to work with other beverage makers such as Canada Dry and Adam & Eve juices, Adweek reported. PepsiCo this year has put more marketing muscle into its Bubly brand of flavored seltzers, including a Super Bowl ad starring singer Michael Bublé, in response to the drinks' surge in popularity as consumers cut back on sugary sodas.