Pepsi Reveals How It Plans to Get Its $60 Million Worth Out of ‘X Factor’

Aug 5, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Mega-marketer Pepsi’s ongoing cola war with Coke will soon play out on a new front, with the rival soft drinks sponsoring rival TV shows.

While Coca-Cola has been a longtime sponsor of “American Idol,” Pepsi has just taken the wraps off its big plans as the major advertiser for Fox’s upcoming "The X Factor," The New York Times reports.

Pepsi is shelling out up to $60 million for the “X Factor” sponsorship, and it intends to make the most of it. Pepsi will be omnipresent throughout the broadcast of the program, and the marketing extends beyond December, when the show wraps.

The company announced today that in addition to the show’s $5 million recording contract for the winner, the singing star will also be the featured performer in a Super Bowl commercial for Pepsi that will air during the game on Feb. 5 on Fox NBC.

The commercial will mark Pepsi’s return to Super Bowl ad exposure. In 2011, for the first time in 23 years, Pepsi chose not to advertise during the big game.

Said “X Factor’s” prime mover, Simon Cowell: “It’s been the most collaborative relationship I’ve ever had with a sponsor. From Day 1, they just bought into what we’d planned for the show, and almost became like producers. As we developed the show, we consulted with them in all the decisions, and they came and presented to us their own marketing ideas.”

The report adds: “The Super Bowl ad — for which the winning contestant will not be paid — will be regularly invoked on the show as one of the ultimate prizes, and Pepsi’s presence on the air is also to include features like a ‘Pepsi Challenge,’ in which viewers choose the songs that contestants will sing. After the winner is chosen, customers will be able to vote online for some of the elements in the Super Bowl ad.”

Pepsi may have a little extra motivation this year in the perennial cola wars. Beverage Digest reported in March that Pepsi had slipped to No.3 in soda popularity in the U.S., behind No. 2 Diet Coke. Needless to say, Coke remains No. 1.


  1. NBC will air the 2012 Superbowl, not FOX.

  2. Thanks, Greg. Our mistake. We’ve corrected it in the article, above.

    Chuck Ross

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