Pepsi Celebrity Branding

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Pepsi has used celebrity branding to build upon the Pepsi brand. The 1980s brought in celebrity endorsers like Tina Turner, Michael J. Fox, Gloria Estefan, and David Bowie. By far its biggest celebrity endorser in this time period was Michael Jackson. The singer and PepsiCo struck a $5 million partnership that linked the two together for the rest of the 1980s. With Jackson as its prime celebrity endorser, PepsiCo was able to set itself up as the hip, trendy drink for the new generation. Pepsi’s celebrity partnerships enabled the company to gain market share even as Coca- Cola’s market share was dropping. Another notable achievement in marketing history was the inroads Pepsi made into the Soviet market. Perhaps the biggest (indirect) Soviet endorser of the product was the Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev, who was caught on camera drinking a Pepsi at the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow. A favorable relationship developed between the Soviet Union and the company, leading to a trade agreement in 1972 where Pepsi became the first foreign consumer product sold in the Soviet Union. In 1988, Pepsi also became the first advertiser to buy time on Soviet television. A Pepsi advertisement that was aired later that year incorporated Soviet teenage actors to appeal to the younger generation. The Pepsi Generation was taking control over the Soviet Union and still remained popular in Russia after the Soviet Union’s dissolution. PepsiCo has continued to use celebrity marketing throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, including celebrities such as Ray Charles, Cindy Crawford, and Britney Spears. To appeal to sports fans, PepsiCo also tapped into the celebrity status of Shaquille O’Neal and racecar driver Jeff Gordon. In 2006 PepsiCo got a new CEO, Indra Nooyi, who began reorganizing PepsiCo to focus on several different initiatives. Under her leadership, PepsiCo’s goals included focusing more on countries outside the U.S., developing healthier snacks, having a net-zero...
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