America’s number two soft drinks company PepsiCo is preparing to launch its largest ever urban marketing push next week, with a new campaign to promote its flagship cola brand.

The effort will be centered around Grammy award-winning hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, who will feature in two TV spots as well as radio and print ads and point-of-purchase promotions. Jean, whose 2001 tour will be sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, is also due to make personal appearances on behalf of the brand. Fashion and sports tie-ins and sampling will feature in the campaign as well.

PepsiCo is trying to target urban youth, a group accounting for nearly 40% of all young Americans and considered to be highly influential among their peers. “Not only are they important in terms of sheer number and size,” commented Charlee Taylor-Hines, PepsiCo’s director of urban and ethnic marketing, “they are also important because they are the … trendsetters that all other youth follow. Their influence and power exceeds their size.”

The first TV spot, featuring Jean singing about Pepsi on a Brazilian beach, is due to break on April 16, with the second spot following in June.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline