After more than a decade of associating itself with pop stars -
including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Tina Turner and Rod Stewart - Pepsi
thought it had done just about everything possible with a big name. Its
current Spice Girls deal, however, is genuinely innovative and sprang
from a four-way partnership between Pepsi and music marketing, public
relations and advertising.
The idea originated with BBDO New York’s new Pepsi ad, featuring a new
soundtrack Move Over, a new strapline ’Generation Next’ and some
not-so-new energetic young people images.
Its celebration of youthful independence and self-confidence aroused the
interest of music marketers Broadcast Innovations, which realised that
pop’s latest sensation embodied the spirit of ’Generation Next’.
Broadcast Innovations went to Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO with plans for an
unusually extensive brand/pop group tie-up, which would see Pepsi
drinkers getting access to Spice Girls singles and concerts. The idea
was presented to Pepsi and AMV began shooting in Los Angeles in
As the Spice Girls have no doubt discovered, the glamour of commercials
is skin-deep. The shoot was in derelict, downtown LA on the hottest day
ever recorded. The ’true grit’ atmosphere is real. In fact, the
environment was so menacing that armed guards were required for the
crew. But AMV and director Sam Bayer got what they wanted, including the
Spice Girls’ version of Move Over.
The ad has been seen in more than 25 countries, including the US, and
will soon extend to 60 countries. Even AMV, which envisaged the film
running Europe-wide, could not have predicted the Spice Girls’ global
The idea was felt to be so strong that it was not researched, although
its Adwatch performance is modest - number 11 with 61% recall. The data
shows a steady recall percentage through geographical regions and social
class, although the film has proved more memorable for women than men
(64% against 59%).
Not surprisingly, 73% of 25- to 34-year-olds and 68% of 15- to
24-year-olds remembered it. And who can quibble with the thousands of
kids in Britain now clamouring for Move Over to be released as a
Client: Pepsi-Cola Company
Marketing manager UK: Simon Lowden
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Creative team: Peter Souter (deputy creative director) and Frank
Lieberman (head of TV)
Budget: pounds 6.5m in 1997 (total UK Pepsi budget excluding Max and
Media: Worldwide: TV, press, outdoor, radio. UK: ITV, C4, C5
Target: Youth (aged 16-25)