Pepsi is tipped to turn the Daily Mirror blue on April 2 to mark the launch of the Pepsi blue can.
The masthead on the newspaper will turn blue for the day in an advertising and promotion deal that echoes Microsoft’s sponsorship of The Times for the launch of Windows ’95, when it bought a print run of the paper to give away.
In addition to the blue colouring, Pepsi’s deal with the paper includes advertising sites and a special scratchcard promotion.
The red-to-blue campaign began this week in the newspaper with teaser ads from Pepsi’s agency Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO. Monday’s Mirror carried a quarter page ad with a blue Soviet flag. On Tuesday a playing card – the ace of hearts – appeared in blue, to continue the red-to-blue theme. The culmination of the teaser campaign is the masthead turning blue.
Pepsi’s European marketing director Yan Tardif refuses to confirm or deny the stunt. “May be it will happen, maybe it won’t,” he says.
The Mirror’s deputy managing director Roger Eastoe refuses to deny the paper’s masthead would change colour, but confirmed the teaser and scratchcard promotion. “The newspaper will be read (sic) all over,” he says “by millions of people.”
AMV denies it is involved in buying up the paper. “We are doing lots around the blue can launch but we are not buying up the Daily Mirror,” AMV’s media director Alan Brydon says.
Pepsi wants the blue can to trade off some of the success of its Pepsi Max brand, which already comes in blue cans. It will also make the product stand out on supermarket shelves.
The blue can launch is being kicked off with a 2m TV commercial that features Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and AndrÃ© Agassi. It has been created by BBDO New York and is credited as the most expensive ad of all time.