Pepsi ads wink at music downloading
‘Wink’ at downloading?
That’s the headline in a USA TODAY story pumping up Pepsi’s coming iTunes music store promo.
“Some 20 teens sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, which accuses them of unauthorized downloads, will appear in a Pepsi-Cola (PEP) ad that kicks off a two-month offer of up to 100 million free – and legal -downloads from Apple’s iTunes, the leading online music seller,” says the story here.
The “sassy ad” [no kidding - it's a direct quote] due out on February 1 during Superbowl, “is a wink at the download hot button,” says Theresa Howard in a piece which might have come straight from Pepsi’s promo department.
“Pepsi hopes the promotion will connect its flagship cola, as well as Sierra Mist and Diet Pepsi, with teens who’ve shown more affinity for bottled water, energy drinks and the Internet,” she says.
The ‘wink’ comes in because Annie Leith, 14, has been suckered into appearing in the ad with other downloaders and apparently says she no longer makes “unauthorized downloads” and, “can say I was on TV for something so ridiculous”. With her older sister and younger brother, she downloaded 950 songs over three years, says the story, going on:
“They settled the lawsuit for $3,000, the average according to RIAA. She’ll use some of her undisclosed ad fee to help pay for the settlement.”
‘Settled’ means they paid the RIAA $3,000 rather than getting hauled into a court hearing which might have cost them thousands of dollars more.
In the meanwhile, Green Day “cut a special version of the 1966 Bobby Fuller Four hit I Fought the Law for the ad, by BBDO, New York,” says USA TODAY. “In the ad, Leith holds a Pepsi and proclaims: ‘We are still going to download music for free off the Internet.’ Then the announcer says how: ‘Announcing the Pepsi iTunes Giveaway’.”
“It’s all in good spirit,” Dave Burwick, chief marketer, Pepsi, North America, is quoted as saying.
Pepsi even managed to wheel out the RIAA’s seldom-seen boss Mitch Bainwol.
“This ad shows how everything has changed,” Bainwol says. “Legal downloading is great because fans are supporting the future of creative work in America.”
How low can you go?