- Pepsi and Fox Entertainment are working together on the first show inspired by one of the soda maker's products. "Cherries Wild" is a game show that will feature a branded integration with Pepsi Wild Cherry cola and premiere on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. ET, according to an announcement emailed to Marketing Dive.
- Hosted by actor Jason Biggs, the half-hour show will test contestants' knowledge of pop-culture trivia in two rounds of gameplay that advances them toward a chance to win $250,000. Each episode will conclude with contestants trying to capture five wild cherries on a giant slot machine to win the jackpot.
- Pepsi worked with its agency OMD and The Content Collective, Omnicom Media Group's entertainment and content marketing unit, to negotiate the "Cherries Wild" collaboration. After first appearing on Fox, the show will stream on Fox Now, Hulu and Tubi, while on-demand episodes will be available to customers of various cable and satellite providers, per the announcement.
Pepsi's branded integration "Cherries Wild" comes as the growing popularity of ad-free streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ has challenged brands to find ways to reach consumers. By blending entertaining video content with its branding, Pepsi can help to ensure ad-averse younger viewers are exposed to its messaging through linear TV, streaming platforms and on-demand video. Fox developed a similar strategy with "Beat Shazam" and "Lego Masters," reality competition shows that also are integrated with brands.
"Now more than ever, consumers are looking for content that entertains them in new ways and formats, as the media landscape continues to rapidly evolve," Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing at Pepsi, said in a statement.
"Cherries Wild" marks the latest collaboration between the soft-drink maker and Fox. In 2015, Pepsi was part of a multiepisode plot line in the show "Empire" that culminated with a main character appearing in a Pepsi commercial to help boost his image as a pop star. For the show's third season, the brand sponsored a nine-episode weekly social series called "Emerge" that appeared on the Facebook and Instagram pages for "Empire."
Pepsi has been active with recent promotions for its Pepsi Wild Cherry variant, including its sponsorship of a virtual hip-hop competition onTriller. The soft-drink brand is collaborating with rapper Fat Joe on "Your Wildest Dreams" contest, which will give the winner a spot in a Pepsi Wild Cherry commercial next year. The top three finalists will face off in a livestreamed event from the Triller House in Atlanta, one of the collaboration houses the video-sharing app created for social influencers to produce content.