Beyoncé's mega-partnership with Pepsi: What it means for both their brands

The pop star and the soda pop company are teaming up for a questionable creative campaign worth $50 million

Beyoncé's face will grace a limited-edition can of Pepsi as part of the blockbuster deal.
(Image credit: Facebook/Pepsi)

If there's one thing we've learned from Beyoncé, it's this: If you like her, you should put a ring on her. And if you don't have a ring, a sizable chunk of cash will do. Just ask Pepsi: The pop star has landed a $50 million advertising deal with the soda company. As part of the arrangement, Beyoncé will appear in a number of ads, including one following her highly anticipated halftime show at the Super Bowl in February, and will lend her face to a limited-edition line of soda cans. But the buck doesn't stop there. In exchange for her endorsements, Pepsi will devote millions to supporting the singer's creative whims, which seem relatively undefined as of yet, and which might not mention Pepsi products at all.

So why sponsor a creative package without knowing first what it is? What's Pepsi's goal? Earning a solid reputation with consumers who are "seeking a much greater authenticity in marketing from the brands they love," says Ben Sisario at The New York Times. Through this collaboration, Pepsi can act as "artistic patron" for a star who has a huge and loyal following. But won't consumers see right through the ploy? "The plan is pure inanity for Pepsi, and I'm surprised more marketers aren't calling it out for what it is," says Jonathan Salem Baskin at Forbes, who makes the valid point that this idea isn't new. Both Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera had runs as the face of Pepsi, and the soda company came out with little to show for it, as success in this kind of case is hard to measure or attribute.

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Jessica Hullinger

Jessica Hullinger is a writer and former deputy editor of The Week Digital. Originally from the American Midwest, she completed a degree in journalism at Indiana University Bloomington before relocating to New York City, where she pursued a career in media. After joining The Week as an intern in 2010, she served as the title’s audience development manager, senior editor and deputy editor, as well as a regular guest on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast. Her writing has featured in other publications including Popular Science, Fast Company, Fortune, and Self magazine, and she loves covering science and climate-related issues.