When the Super Bowl marketing blitz kicks off for Pepsiis iTunes Music Store giveaway, viewers will get more than a clever message that 100 million bottles are winners: theyill also see the faces of some 20 teenagers who have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America.
In a USA Today exclusive, Pepsi North America chief marketer Dave Burwick reveals details of the spot that will air to some 88 million viewers on February 1. The ad will showcase the faces of teens who have been sued by the RIAA while a Green Day cover of Bobby Fulleris "I Fought The Law" plays in the background. Towards the end, 14-year-old Annie Leith -- who settled her suit with the RIAA for $3,000 -- will proclaim "We are still going to download music for free off the Internet," which will be followed by a voiceover announcing the iPepsi iTunes giveaway.
While the RIAA has come under fire for its legal tactics, particularly against minors, the group is very supportive of the ad. "This ad shows how everything has changed," Mitch Bainwol, RIAA chairman told USA Today. "Legal downloading is great because fans are supporting the future of creative work in America." Coincidentally, the RIAA filed a further 532 claims this week, bringing the total number of lawsuits filed since September up to 914.
For her part, Ms. Leith, who along with her brother and sister stopped downloading music after being sued, will take some of her earnings from Pepsi to pay off the settlement.