The Coloa Wars: How Pepsi and Coke Are Battling In the Music Space

From Billboard Magazine:

It’s late January in Cannes, and Mark Ronson is dressed like a White Stripe. Taking the stage at the MIDEM music conference, the producer wears a bright red oxford shirt with white buttons and black skinny jeans that flare at the ankle to reveal matching red socks peeking out of white suede loafers. Although the ensemble does seem to nod in Jack White’s direction, it’s really meant to pay homage to a music collaborator whose partnership with Ronson may provide him with even greater exposure than his collaborations with Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse.

Yes, Mark Ronson is dressed as a human Coke bottle.

Ronson (@iammarkronson) is in town to talk “Move to the Beat,” one of Coke’s largest ad campaigns to date, created to support its sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Ronson’s original track, “Anywhere in the World” featuring Katy B, is the campaign’s official anthem, and by the time it’s finished Ronson will have traveled to Singapore, Russia, Mexico and the United States to turn the sounds of five Olympic athletes training in everything from archery to table tennis into a truly global dance track. (For Coke’s Latin America plans, see Latin Notas, page 14.)

“This is the one shot for me. It may be the biggest exposure I have for a song,” Ronson tells MIDEM panel moderator Ian Rogers of Topspin.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Argentina, Nicki Minaj is in the midst of shooting what will become a global ad campaign for Pepsi-the company’s first-featuring her 2010 single “Moment for Life” as its soundtrack. It’s a deal that will make her a worldwide spokeswoman and also give her enough fodder to fuel two songs’ worth of material on her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, including its title track (and trashing other rappers with the boast “The ad is global/Your ad was local” may be a hip-hop first).

Although footage from the shoot will quickly leak on YouTube, Pepsi will remain mum on the campaign’s specifics until April 30, the day the company announces its new brand positioning initiative-the beginning of a five-year commitment to boost interest (and sales) for Pepsi’s flagging flagship. Speaking with Billboard from the Manhattan offices of Pepsi’s music agency Cornerstone just 10 days before the official debut, Frank Cooper (@f3cooper), PepsiCo chief marketing officer of global consumer engagement, is steadfast in his decision to hire Minaj as the global campaign’s first artist spokesperson.

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