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Pepsi Enlists Cardi B for Its Own Version of Holiday Gift Giving

Pepsi is known for its Super Bowl half time show and celebrity-laden commercials. Now it wants to burnish a reputation for holiday cheer.

The soda-maker will help consumers give cash gifts to friend and family members through a digital scratch-off game that can be sparked via QR codes found across 12 packs of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Wild Cherry Pepsi and Pepsi Vanilla. If customers find three Pepsi globes, they will get the chance to send cash prizes with values ranging from $5 to $25,000 to a designated person or charity.

Pepsi thinks the holidays offer “a big opportunity for the cola category,” says Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing for Pepsi, in an interivew. And while rival Coca-Cola has long celebrated the season with animated polar bears and evocations of nostalgia, Pepsi believes it can harness technology to get soda adherents to give its beverages more consideration when they are shopping for end-of-year get-togethers and Christmas gatherings. “This is a fun take on holiday giving that will spread more holiday cheer.”

To drive the point home, Pepsi has enlisted rapper and musician Cardi B to underscore the theme in digital and TV commercials that are beginning to roll out Thursday. In a digital video, a younger Cardi B meet Santa Claus, who says she was “naughty” and isn’t deserving of gifts. She vows to give gifts to everyone. In a TV ad slated to debut Thanksgiving Day in NBC’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” and in football games airing that day on NBC, CBS and Fox, Cardi B works with elves in a holiday workshop to get holiday cash to everyone, no matter their behavior.

Pepsi will also dispense pass-along cash in other ways.  The beverage giant will pick one fan at select NHL and NFL games, and broadcast them on a stadium’s jumbo-tron screen. where they can decide to keep cash for themselves or give ten times the amount to another row in the house. ! The “Gift it Forward with Pepsi” Cash Cam will be live at select games across the following teams:  Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, New York Giants, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche.

The company will also team up with iHeartMedia’s Elvis Duran, who will pass forward gifts he receives from celebrities and friends to a listener each week throughout November and December. There will also be a weekly grand prize drawing, with eight winners getting a chance to win a trip to Puerto Rico.

Other marketers under the PepsiCo umbrella are also trying new tactics to win holiday shoppers. PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay on Wednesday unveiled a new video commercial that seeks to get consumers to consider many of the snacks in its portfolio for holiday consumption.


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