Pepsi Tricks People Into Downloading Music Site Promotion


In what BBDO Canada calls inventive, the agency has created a campaign for Pepsi's Pepsi Access Canada, a site that provides people with "access to ultra exclusive music, downloads, concerts, merchandise and events." To promote the site, BBDO Canada seeded will seed (although BBDO, as of June 8, says the client has not yet given approval) peer to peer sites like Acquisition and Kazaa with MP3s that appear to be unreleased tracks from major artists but when the user downloads the song, this (removed from YouTube at the request of BBDO Canada) is what they hear. Basically, BBDO and Pepsi are tricking people into believing they are downloading new music when, in fact, they are downloading an ad promoting Pepsi and its association with really cutting edge groups like...oh...INXS which almost may have been cutting edge about 20 years ago.

Anyway, less "inventive" are several (1, 2, 3, 4) ads BBDO created to promote the site which humorously follow the actions of a couple guys as they try to obtain access to popular Canadian groups such as Kardinal Offishal, Swollen Members, and Dashboard Confessional.

UPDATE: The MP3 file that was to have been seeded has been removed from YouTube at the request of BBDO Canada who claims (or had to based on the choices YouTube provides when a cancellation request is made) they were used without permission even though they were sent to us by someone from BBDO Canada to be featured here on Adrants. Twisted. Consequently, because of this and other companies who have sent in content and then had other entities with the company or partner companies make complaints, our YouTube account has been closed. With bandwidth constraints in mind, we'll host what we can here or we will rely on the marketer/agency to host things themselves. The frustrating thing here is everyone wants there work seen by everyone - and we want to show it - until those nasty usage fees and other issues come into play.

UPDATE II: We've been told the file that will be seeded has not yet been approved by Pepsi and that is why BBDO Canada asked YouTube to remove the file and has asked us to clarify that here.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (7)     File: Brands, Guerilla, Online, Viral     Jun- 7-06  
Advertising Jobs

Enjoy what you've read? Subscribe to Adrants Daily and receive the daily contents of this site each day along with free whitepapers.

ad:tech Conference Headlines


Not cool at all, how lame to fake hack a p2p, didn't we do that with the original Napster in '99? The videos aren't worth the bandwidth.

Posted by: Adam Pollock on June 7, 2006 01:53 PM

Worse than a lame idea, this is going to piss off a lot of people. I always thought it was a bad idea to make your customers feel like suckers. Those who think they're getting something new and cool are also those who will be angered most when they discover they've been duped.

Just another example that a new trick doesn't always equal a good idea.

Posted by: Pat Smith on June 7, 2006 03:52 PM

Just another example of a clueless big agency ploy... talk about blowing any real transparent and engaging viral idea in the future... Pepsi "the next generation"... NOT.

Posted by: Glenn on June 7, 2006 05:42 PM

It doesn't surprise me that BBDO did this. They're not an online agency. I bet that the first idea was some type of Subservient Chicken style idea.

Posted by: not surprising on June 7, 2006 09:57 PM

This is a great ad if it makes people drink less Pepsi. That stuff is garbage people; drink water.

Posted by: Peter Y on June 7, 2006 10:57 PM

I think a smarter idea would be to get exclusive first release rights to new music, play a short 5-10 second "this exclusive new music brought to you by Pepsi" ad at the beginning and then have the song. Then release THAT on P2P networks (and all major torrent sites). True, people would inevitably release a version with the ad cut out, but the initial release of it would draw MANY people to whatever site they wanted.

This just destroys trust in the brand.

Posted by: Michael Shostack on June 8, 2006 11:54 AM


Step 1 - Fire the idiot who came up with this idea.

Step 2 - Fire the idiots who allowed it to be put into action.

Step 3 - Cancel the project.

Step 4 - Realize that you're probably all idiots.

Posted by: Goblin on July 21, 2006 09:27 PM

Post a comment