Pepsi Tastes a New Generation Online

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britney_spears_ratings_small.jpgADOTAS — Pepsi ads are iconic and groundbreaking – at high marks in their careers pop stars Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Ray Charles shilled for the soft drink company to other advertisers’ envy and consumers’ delight. Now, it looks like Pepsi is breaking new ground again by eschewing traditional media and turning to online advertising.

The New York Times reported today that Pepsi-Cola North America is unveiling a new calorie-free, carbonated beverage called Tava with its own Web site (www.tava.com), banner ads, promotions and sampling events. (Tava will also be sent gratis to tech-happy employees of Google, Apple and MTV).

One of the reasons Pepsi’s approach is so revolutionary: Tava is not supposed to be the new hotness for Paris Hilton compatriots. The caffeine-free, fruit-flavored drink is being aimed squarely at the minivan brigade — the 35 to 49 demographic, The Times reports.

“There used to be an assumption this target was not online,” Frank Cooper, vice president for flavored carbonated soft drinks at Pepsi told The Times. “But there’s a group in that category that’s ‘reborn digital.’ They’ve lived through the change and learned to adapt to it. This consumer spends significant time online, although what they do may differ from the younger consumer. They’re not I.M.-ing their friends; they’re looking at e-mail or looking up information about travel, music, food.”

Tribal DDB Worldwide, the digital arm of DDB Worldwide, is handling the campaign. Banner ads will reportedly appear on AOL, chow.com, CitySearch, oprah.com, People and weather.com, among other sites.

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