- Pepsi is sponsoring a global entertainment special organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and advocacy group Global Citizen scheduled for April 18 at 8 p.m. ET to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, according to details the brand shared with Marketing Dive.
- The special will be broadcast across a number of domestic and international networks as well as widely livestreamed on Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Twitch, YouTube and more. It will celebrate healthcare workers on the frontlines with a virtual concert featuring Lady Gaga and other pop stars including Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Billie Eilish and Lizzo, as well as appearances from late night TV hosts, athletes, activists and world leaders.
- Pepsi is dedicating its marketing teams, agency partnerships and existing paid media to the effort. Pepsi will create the official logo, a marketing plan, ad spots for the two-weeks leading up to the event and lend its teams to work on the marketing efforts. Additionally, Pepsi is investing $45 million to help communities around the globe affected by the pandemic. This includes paying for masks and other protective gear for healthcare workers, testing services and food for at-risk populations.
Pepsi is leveraging its expertise as a marketer with significant experience in working with musicians and helping organize entertainment specials, including as the sponsor the Super Bowl's halftime show, to support a global effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic that could garner a lot of attention from consumers and the media given the impressive roster of well-known performers attached to the event.
The One World: Together At Home event is noteworthy for a broad distribution strategy, reflecting that while viewership is up during the health crisis, current viewing habits across broadcast and streaming platforms means audiences are fragmented, which presents a challenge when it comes to uniting people around a single live viewing experience. The special will be broadcast on ABC, NBC, ViacomCBS, iHeartMedia and a number of international networks. The digital special will also be livestreamed on a number of platforms, including Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Tidal, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube and more. The livestreamed special will include additional performances from around the world and stories from healthcare workers.
"While social gatherings look a bit different these days, we are excited to do our part to help bring people around the world together — while staying at home — to re-connect around a shared love of music and a strong desire to take action in the fight against COVID-19," said Todd Kaplan, VP of marketing at Pepsi, in a statement.
Pepsi is putting a significant amount of resources behind the special at a time when some marketers are struggling with how to engage consumers during the pandemic. Preliminary research suggests consumers want to hear from brands during this period as long as messaging centers around how brands are helping out communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent survey from the 4A's.
The partnership with Global Citizen is on brand for Pepsi, which has a history of supporting the global music and entertainment business. The company launched a new tagline, "That's What I Like," in January, with the subsequent campaigns including music and popular entertainers. For instance, Pepsi kicked off a cross-channel campaign to promote Pepsi Wild Cherry and Pepsi Vanilla last month, and the ads feature LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" and The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights."