45 Second Pepsi/iTunes Spot To Play In Super Bowl 1st Quarter

Pepsi-Cola has put the finishing touches on its television commercials for this Sundayis Super Bowl and its spot to promote the give away of 100 million free song from Appleis iTunes Music Store. A Pepsi spokesperson has confirmed to The Mac Observer that the spot will play just once in the first quarter of the game and will run 45 seconds in length. The spot will cost Pepsi some US$3.4 million.

"Weive finished production and editing of our spots and weire ready to go for the Super Bowl," said Dave DeCecco, a marketing spokesman for Pepsi. "Weire excited about the spot and especially the promotion. We think people will find the spot funny and get its true message that iTunes is changing the way people pay and use music."

The spot features 16 real-life teenagers who were sued by the recording industry for illegally downloading music from the Internet. Set to the music of Green Dayis version of "I Fought the Law," the spot shows the teens changing their attitudes about illegally downloading music files and admitting they will download music for free from the iTunes store.

"We think this promotion will help change the way people download music," DeCecco said. "Our goal with Apple is to move the sale of music from illegal to legal."

Beginning this Sunday, 100 million winning codes will be randomly seeded in 20 ounce and one liter bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist in the US, and the winning codes will be redeemable for a free song from the iTunes Music Store. Winners will go to Appleis iTunes Music Store, enter the code found under the bottle cap and choose any 99 cent song from the online storeis vast catalog of over 400,000 songs. The promotion will run until March 31, 2004.

Earlier reports from Advertising Age magazine said Pepsi and its advertising agency, BBDO Worldwide, had bought three minutes in total spots for Super Bowl XXXVIII, to be broadcast this Sunday, February 1, on CBS-TV to an estimated 88 million TV viewers. Speculation was that the Pepsi/iTunes spot would run 60 seconds, but DeCecco has confirmed it is 45 seconds in length.

DeCecco said the company was still working out final arrangements with CBS for exactly what commercial break the spot would play in, just four days away from the match-up between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers in Houston, Texas. Pepsi has yet to decide if it will publicly announce exactly what commercial break the spot will appear in, despite much speculation that it would be Pepsiis first spot in the game and would run in the first quarter.

A CBS television affiliate who has seen the preliminary commercial lineup for the game has told The Mac Observer the spot is tentatively scheduled to play in break two. "Thatis what they have planned at this point, but the network often changes the running of commercials right up until broadcast," an unnamed advertising department spokesman for WUSA-TV in Washington, DC said.

The other four commercials are 30 seconds in length and promote Pepsiis flagship cola, Pepsi, and Sierra Mist, DeCecco said.

At a record US$2.3 million for a 30 second commercial, the iTunes promotional will cost Pepsi US$3.4 million, or US$34.00 per 1,000 viewers.

DeCecco confirmed Apple Computer had been involved in the concept, writing and filming of the iTunes promotional spot. "Apple is an integral partner in this project and they have been involved every step of the way," he said.

For those wishing to see the commercial, YourMacLife has posted the commercial as a QuickTime movie.