Has anyone seen Beyonce’s new Pepsi commercial? Or a better question, has anyone seen the full one minute version rather than the thirty second version on TV? The full version has more footage prior to the mirrors breaking, revealing more of Beyonce’s personalities from her previous hits. AdWeek has a nice summary of the spot so I won’t dwell on that for this post. What I want to focus on is the message and the creative process, and Beyonce’s influence over this commercial. See the full spot below.
Pepsi’s message to “Live For Now” comes through pretty loud and clear. The advertisement chronicles Beyonce’s history of how she gained attention through her Destiny’s Child days and later found success as an individual artist. All this shows is that Beyonce wouldn’t have attained her current success if not for her previous successes. This has helped her secure a $50 million dollar deal “brand ambassador” with Pepsi, which goes beyond the typical spokesperson support by having Pepsi cede some creative control to Beyonce. This commercial shows how Beyonce has influenced the creative process.
With their “Live for Now” tagline, Pepsi’s message has been about living for the moment. The ad above ends with that same tagline so it appears that not much has changed. However, what may be less obvious is Beyonce’s parting words, “Embrace your Past but Live For Now”. It’s not just about the living in the moment, but also remembering where you came from. To me, that is the influence that Beyonce had on the commercial. Though the “Live For Now” message stays intact, the positioning is very different.
Pepsi’s previous commercials had solely focused on the “Live for Now” aspect. Their Nicki Minaj commercials further glorified this component through the “Moment for Life” song, reaffirming the viewer to live in the moment. That may have been Pepsi’s prior messaging, and it may very well with Nicki Minaj representing the beverage brand. If it has changed, then it’s a sign of the changing times. Nicki Minaj’s commercial was produced in May 2012, while Beyonce signed on with Pepsi in December 2012. With Beyonce however, the Live For Now is still about the current moment, but only after embracing your past. Could this be Pepsi’s new direction on leveraging on their successful history?
While Pepsi modifies the communication depending on the audience and medium, this enhancement with Beyonce is certainly unique. It also makes a positive statement. Could we expect Pepsi passing more creative control to Beyonce in future commercials, or have Beyonce involved with more of their social engagement campaigns? Despite their contract saying that Beyonce will own some of the creative content, it would be wise for Pepsi to allow the songstress to have more involvement. A truly collaborative partnership is one in which both partners care for the success and own responsibilities, and having Beyonce feel a strong sense of ownership could only lead to further success for the cola brand. Only time will tell, but I believe this is definitely the start of a very good collaborative partnership.