PepsiCo Turns to Star Wars to Promote Brisk Tea

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PepsiCo Turns to Star Wars to Promote Brisk Tea


NEW YORK -- PepsiCo Inc. is using next month's release of "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace 3D" to promote its Brisk iced tea and juice drinks through new "Star Wars" themed packaging, according to a New York Times report. The company is also launching a new mobile game application (app) for iPhones and Android smartphones that features characters Yoda and Darth Maul.

This is reportedly Brisk's largest multimedia advertising and marketing campaign ever.

The team-up isn't a new one for Pepsi, which has joined with Lucasfilm to promote "Star Wars" since 1997. However, the new campaign was designed by Mekanism, an agency that Pepsi hired in 2010. The agency's spots for Brisk, which call back to the brand's mid-'90s claymation commercials and feature celebrities such as Eminem and Ozzy Osbourne, have been successful in boosting brand awareness Brisk's number of Facebook fans has increased from 10,000 in late 2010 to 950,000, said Iav Kovalik, creative director for Mekanism.

Additionally, Brisk brand director Eric Fuller stated that brand sales increased from 48 million cases in 2009 to a projected 104 million cases this year, according to the report.

Features of the "Phantom Menace" campaign, which will lead up to the film's Feb. 10 release, include limited-edition bottles of Brisk raspberry iced tea with a Darth Maul label; codes printed on caps that help customers play the new mobile game app by unlocking new game characters, vehicles and weapons; and a new one-gallon jug in four flavors. The company will also promote the mobile game on Facebook, Hulu and app ad network Tapjoy.

Television spots featuring Yoda and Darth Maul will initially run on Fox Broadcasting's Sunday night "Animation Domination" programming, and later on stations such as Comedy Central, MTV, Spike and Syfy. Radio ads will air starting Jan. 23, and more than 500 movie theaters in 15 states will air the TV spots starting tomorrow.

Fuller said Brisk's 2012 advertising and marketing budget is in the "low double digits" of millions of dollars, 75 percent of which will be spent during the first quarter of the year, and is the most Pepsi has ever spent on the brand.