Pepsi and Beyoncé’s $50M Duet [Updated]

Multi-year deal includes unusual brand-related creative control

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Pepsi inked Beyoncé Knowles to a $50 million so-called "brand ambassador" deal that will feature multiple collaborations between the brand and singer-celebrity, including her likeness on the beverage giant's soda cans in 2013.

Perhaps most interestingly, the performer will be given an unusual amount of creative control when it comes to the Pepsi brand. While the multi-year deal includes normal promotional vehicles such as TV spots and print ads, it also entails giving Knowles free rein to create Pepsi-branded and non-branded digital experiences and offline events like photo shoots in the name of Pepsi.

Per a New York Times report, she told the daily that "Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve… As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity.”

According to a Pepsi statement, industry watchers should expect "the two brands to co-create cool online talent." Overall, the effort dovetails into the larger "Live for Now" initiative, while highlighting its focus on entertainment marketing. During the last 18 months, the Purchase N.Y.-based company has launched partnerships with The X Factor, Nicki Minaj and Twitter—the latter agreement revolving around an online concerts series.

“Beyoncé and Pepsi have the capability to create content and experiences across mediums and across the globe that we believe will delight her fans and Pepsi consumers," Frank Cooper, PepsiCo's global CMO, said in a statement.

The two entities originally worked together on an ad campaign in 2002 and have produced five TV spots during the last 10 years.

Their latest effort underscores an ongoing turf war between Pepsi and rival Coca-Cola when it comes to using music for branding purpose. For instance, the latter recently invested $10 million in the digital music service Spotify.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.