Pepsi and Apple Promote Music on 100 Million Bottles

By Oct 21, 2003

Pepsi-Cola Co. and Apple Computers will make 100 million bottles sing in an under-the-cap promo that lets consumers download free songs.

The February-March Pepsi iTunes Promotion will put codes on bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist. Consumers enter a code at Apple’s online iTunes Music Store, www.itunes.com, and choose one song from 400,000 titles. Songs usually cost 99 cents to download.

The promo lets consumers sample Apple’s pay-for-play iTunes system that launched in April. Users download songs into Apple’s integrated digital jukebox software to play on an iPod personal music player, Mac or Windows-based PC. Cupertino, CA-based Apple last week launched iTunes Music Store for Mac and PCs, with tunes from all five major music companies and 200 independent labels. The service, which is Apple’s answer to music industry furor over online swapping and free downloading, has sold 13 million songs since its spring launch. The Pepsi promo could prove to be the watershed moment for paid online music delivery.

“This historic promotion to legally give away 100 million free songs will go down in history as igniting the legal download market,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement.

“iTunes has revolutionized the way we buy music,” said Pepsi-Cola North America President Dawn Hudson in a statement. “iTunes provides music fans with a fast, reliable and easy way to get the music they want, when they want it.”

TV supports with ads kicking off during the Super Bowl. Pepsi and Apple will also collaborate on print, radio and online ad support; the two are evaluating their media plan now. P-O-P will run mostly in
c-stores and gas stations, with some supermarket coverage (but no plans for P-O-P in electronics stores, Apple’s stronghold.) Tracy Locke, Dallas, handles the promo via Purchase, NY-based Pepsi. Pepsi’s ad agency, BBDO, New York City, handles ads. Mega, Inc., Las Vegas, brought Apple and Pepsi together.