Pepsi, StarMedia let teens create own Web site

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MIAMI--Latin American Internet company StarMedia Network and Pepsi-Cola International have launched a pan-regional online Web site created for teens by teens.

Pidemasonline.com (which translates as "ask for more online") launched May 24 in Puerto Rico and will be rolled out to Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela later this year.

Users can access all the tools, applications and services of Starmedia.com, such as chat, e-mail, bulletin boards, instant messaging, games, e-cards and custom homepages, from the Pidemasonline.com site. The new service will also feature publications and columns managed and directed by teens, as well as on-line promotions.

"Our partnership with StarMedia plays a key role in our marketing strategy, helping us to understand and fulfill the needs of teens in the Puerto Rican and Latin American markets," says Bill Mullenix, VP-marketing for Pepsi Latin America. "Pidemasonline.com marks our commitment to utilize the Internet to provide our consumers with entertainment and information that will help empower them as individuals."

To complement the Web site's launch, Pepsi is sponsoring an offline marketing campaign, "Pepsi Music, Expresate con todo" ("Express yourself with everything"). The campaign will run for 10 weeks in Puerto Rico and consists of TV, radio, outdoor and printadvertisements. The Web address will be included on point-of-purchase material and on 20 million Pepsi packs in the Puerto Rico market.

Pepsi will also set up interactive kiosks this summer on beaches, in supermarkets, shopping centers and events around the island. Pepsi will take a selected number of 30-second video clips made by participants at the kiosks and allow them to be viewed and voted on by Pidemasonline users. Clips chosen by teens will then be incorporated into Pepsi's ad campaign in Puerto Rico.

In addition, Pepsi will send out "Expresate con todo" mobile camera units, branded "Pepsi Troops," that will travel the island documenting teens enjoying summer fun and talking about their experiences. StarMedia Broadband will make the teen-produced footage available for online viewers at the Pidemasonline.com site.

At the same time, an on-pack promotion on all Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Seven Up, and Sunkist 20-ounce bottles will offer prizes including two Mitsubishi Eclipses, 12 Compaq Presario Computers, six Sony Home Theatres, free Cellular phone and Internet access from Centennial and 500 Polaroid Joycams.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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