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Will the Monkey’s Option Be Picked Up?

Oct 27, 2003  •  Post A Comment

If you were one of the millions who weren’t caught up in Pepsi’s “Play for a Billion” bottle-cap sweepstakes on The WB this past summer, you may be surprised to learn serious talks are under way to renew both the promotion and a related concert series called “Pepsi Smash” for next year, executives close to the companies said. Winners of “Billion” were chosen during a one-time special featuring Drew Carey and a playful monkey who picked the lucky numbers. “Smash,” from exec producer Joel Gallen, was a live-to-tape concert series featuring music acts, including Beyonce, Michelle Branch and Ashanti. The problem, according to execs, was weak marketing support. In the end there was no billion-dollar winner, but one man did win a million dollars. Why do it again? The WB didn’t lose any money, and Pepsi-Cola saw an increase in soft drink sales, according to remarks by Pepsi’s North America President Dawn Hudson during a recent national advertisers conference. “They were both great experiences, but we are not prepared to announce anything yet,” a Pepsi spokeswoman said.