Pepsi’s integration into the show’s storyline -- where a Pepsi TV commercial is created in with fictional musical artist Jamal Lyon -- is on the surface a great idea. It even has “Empire” show creator Lee Daniels directing Lyon in that commercial. Additionally, Daniels will direct a real-life Pepsi commercial.
Pepsi and Fox executives believe this can’t be any more organic, especially considering that Pepsi has a close association with musical artists down through the years, including Michael Jackson.
Still, how long did the parties need to put together this specific effort? Will it be worth that time -- and cost -- for other marketers?
No, this isn’t for everyone. You don’t have that many brands that have specific associations with key elements/themes of a TV show. All to say that looking at this as a harbinger of things to come isn’t a good idea.
New branded entertainment deals hope to level with TV audiences more than ever: “Here’s the sponsor, you know what the company does and perhaps their TV/public advertising history. We are not trying to fool you. Take it as it is.”
In that regard, Daniels says, in speaking to the Wall Street Journal: “Okay, here’s Pepsi for the sake of Pepsi.”
Yeah, but you wonder: What would “Empire” and Daniels do for GEICO, T-Mobile, or perhaps DraftKings? Who would sing for those marketers?