Pepsi spotlights retro icons like Michael Jackson, Ray Charles for summer push
- Pepsi is extending its "Pepsi Generations" campaign for the summer with a focus on music, limited-edition cans, digital content and more, per news made available in an email to Marketing Dive.
- As part of the effort, Pepsi is releasing limited-edition Pepsi and Diet Pepsi "icon cans" featuring music stars like Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Britney Spears, with each artist paired with the logos Pepsi used during their respective eras. The campaign also features music experiences and activations, including a concert event with Live Nation.
- Pepsi Stuff, the brand's loyalty program that launched in the '90s and was brought back with the Generations campaign earlier this year, is also expanding to include summer-themed retro gear like beach chairs and coolers, T-shirts and headphones. The brand is also giving away concert tickets via the program to Austin City Limits, a Pepsi-sponsored Britney Spears tour, Lollapallooza and more. To showcase the new loyalty offerings, Pepsi will roll out a a commercial featuring a yet-to-be-named music artist.
Pepsi continues to lean heavily into nostalgia with the Generations campaign, which rolled out during the Super Bowl this year with a spot that updated a memorable ad the brand ran with Cindy Crawford during the big game in 1992. The summer extension puts the focus more squarely on music, and might resonate with consumers — especially millennials — who have a particular fondness for eras like the '80s and '90s and for icons like Britney Spears. Offering up retro-themed merchandise via Pepsi Stuff similarly plays into a growing consumer interest in vintage gear, and also a broader trend in the marketing space where brands are creating their own lines of apparel, accessories and more.
Generations, which spans all Pepsi brands, has so far delivered positive results for parent company PepsiCo, including higher brand and advertising recall and regard, exectuvies said during a call discussing Q1 earnings in late April. Expanding the campaign ahead of the summer, when soda sales tend to go up, reinforces a potential return of the "cola wars" between Pepsi and its main rival Coca-Cola.
PepsiCo attributed subpar Q1 results to a loss in cola market share to Coke, and executives suggested the company will ramp up its marketing spend to stay competitive. Coke this week announced it's bringing back its "Share a Coke" campaign with scannable name labels that offer prizes, an e-commerce site and an oversized armchair and shareable vending machine activation.