Four billion specially marked Pepsi packages will allow consumers to collect points and redeem them for music from a special section on the Amazon Web site. Consumers can play the digital songs they download on virtually any music-capable device, including PCs, Macs iPods, Zune iPhones, RAZRs and BlackBerrys, as well as organized in any music management application or burned to a compact disc.
This year, Justin Timberlake backs Pepsi's promotion. In a Super Bowl Pepsi Stuff commercial, Timberlake demonstrates how every sip of Pepsi can attract the music and stuff viewers want.
Several wild stunts have him flying high and rolling low as he narrowly escapes disaster at every turn in the "Magnetic Attraction" spot. Directed by Craig Gillespie and created by New York-based BBDO, the commercial demonstrates how Pepsi Stuff brings people closer to music, merchandise and apparel.
Beginning Feb. 1, consumers purchasing Pepsi products can bank their points on PepsiStuff.com and redeem them for music on Amazon MP3. Five points earn consumers one MP3 song download from the libraries of EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, among other music labels. Universal Music Group has music available at Amazon MP3, but declined to participate in the promotion.
"Amazon is the only site that offers 100% of their music catalog in the DRM-free MP3 format, and that includes music from the major and independent labels," says Nicole Bradley, Pepsi spokeswoman.
The promotion was made possible after the four major music labels agreed to offer their music catalogs for sale on Amazon MP3 in the unrestricted format, without DRM technology that prohibits consumers from making copies or moving the songs from one player platform to another.
Bradley says the brands participating in the Pepsi Stuff promotion fall under the trademark Pepsi, such as Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Diet Pepsi Max, and Diet Pepsi Jazz, among others. The products come in 20-ounce, 1-liter, 2-liter, 12-pack cans and 24-pack cans.
Each bottle cap and the take-home package of the participating products feature a 10-digit alphanumeric code. Once the codes are submitted on the Pepsi Stuff site, consumers are told how many points the code is worth. Consumers trade in the points for music at Amazon MP3. The promotion runs through December.
Music lovers and industry watchers are waiting to see whether Amazon's customer-centric business model can blossom into a credible music download service. "MP3 is the most universally compatible format, and the lack of interoperability is the reason people don't buy music," says Pete Baltaxe, director of digital music at Amazon. "The labels came to understand that Amazon is very in tune with customers, and they saw it our way."
That way gives consumers access to the top 100 tracks for about 89 cents, and millions more for 99 cents. Every song in the Amazon MP3 music download store is encoded at 256 Kbps to deliver high audio quality, and made available through its 1-Click shopping feature.
Consumers also can enter a daily sweepstakes for the chance to win trips to the Super Bowl, the MLB All-Star game, and the Daytona 500, as well as for cash and other big prizes. Consumers may sign up now to be reminded when the promotion begins at pepsistuff.com.
Pepsi has a long history in music, and has featured the biggest recording artists and a diverse range of chart-topping music in marketing campaigns. Recent campaigns have featured Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Bilge, Gwen Stefani and P. Diddy.