Beyonce started this week off with a bombastic bang – thanks largely to Pepsi.
The drinks giant announced a multi-million/multi-year partnership with the superstar, which kicks off early next year to coincide with the release of 31 year old’s hotly anticipated new album.
Now, in an intriguing new interview with Billboard Biz, Pepsi – by way of Global Chief Marketing Officer Frank Cooper – outline the intricate details of their pairing with the ‘Single Ladies’ singer – one, they say, is aimed at ensuring her 5th album is “the most successful global album that she’s ever done”.
A lengthy, yet insightful read awaits after the jump…
Via Billboard Biz:
Billboard: You just announced a renewed and expanded partnership with Beyonce that will include multiple creative projects in addition to traditional advertising. When did the conversations with Beyonce and her team first start?
Frank Cooper: It started in late summer of this year, and it really started around this idea we had around an artist that we thought had true global reach. Someone who really had a strong fan base in multiple territories around the world whose values align with ours – this idea of being positive and living in the now. And then we were looking for an artist that also wanted to have a true partnership, not simply looking for the most compensation in pocket. It’s about how to build content for their fans and consumers, and that led us straight to Beyonce. We started sketching out a deal and teasing ideas out, and here we are.
Pepsi had already been confirmed as the Super Bowl Halftime Show’s presenting sponsor, so did you help secure Beyonce as the performer as part of this deal?
It was a part of the conversation but it wasn’t the emphasis. We talked about Super Bowl Halftime and how Beyonce and Pepsi might collaborate together on content. That was definitely part if it, but only one piece of it.
So how might this creative partnership manifest itself – what types of projects are you working on with Beyonce?
We’re still in the idea-development phase, but the types of things we’re talking about are creating original episodic content together. Where Beyonce may be in front of the camera but may be behind the camera. We’re talking about for live events where we might play a role in creating additional engagement experiences for fans using technology or building interactions with fans that we think we can contribute from the Pepsi side. And then of course we’re thinking about collaborating on events together, live events that we think can be an interesting way to display something Beyonce wants to do and something we want to do.
Beyonce is also prepping a fifth album that might also be ready as early as first quarter. Have you been meeting with the team at Columbia to talk about ways you can help promote the project?
We’ve had a couple meetings with Columbia, including one big meeting with all hands on deck, mostly to talk about how we can all work together to make sure we contribute to the album in a way to make it the most successful global album that she’s ever done. They’re definitely at the table with us.
Have you begun conceptualizing ideas for your next TV commercial with Beyonce, and which ad agencies will you be working with?
We have a concept for that spot, which hasn’t been shot yet, so we’re still in the early stages on that. We took a team approach with agencies for Beyonce, and as part of the team we have 180 Los Angeles, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, Organic for digital and Safari Sundays for design experiential. What we decided was that the best way to handle this project was to have a cross-disciplinary team together. We don’t care where those ideas come from when we execute it.
Beyonce is known for being extremely hands-on in the creative process, even getting final cut on all of her videos and documentary footage. How did you feel about relinquishing some of that control?
Part of the reason why we thought she was the right partner was not only because she’s so discerning, but because she’s proven herself in each of those areas, from photography to audiovisual material. What we’ve decided is these are joint efforts — neither one of us is going to run out and create something the other isn’t going to want. We’re looking at mutual approval.
She’s also been filming a documentary for HBO leading up to the Super Bowl. Might some of your negotiations be a part of that project?
We were sitting in a meeting with about 20 people and Lee Anne [Callahan-Longo, Beyonce’s business manager at Parkwood Entertainment] and Jim [Sabey] said, “Bring the cameras in! Let’s make sure we capture this time.’ And the cameras were rolling. It was this fascinating, reality-star moment where you forget the cameras are on after awhile.
Both fascinating and titillating. It’s clear Hurricane Beyonce is set to sweep through in a major way.