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Marketer: Pepsi-Cola Agency: Pages BBDO, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Latin American star players bring baseball in the sky to their biggest fans

[santo domingo, dominican republic] In Pepsi Cola's "Sky Baseball" three of the top Latin baseball players sky dive out of an airplane, playing baseball in their parachutes as they waft to the ground.

Pages BBDO won a regional pitch to create the five-country campaign. The hardest part, said agency President Felipe Pages, was finding a place to film where all three players-who play for the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies-were playing nearby, with access to a stadium and a landing strip.

Fortunately, since the agency only had the players for eight hours in Orlando, Fla., the location where the players intersected, doubles were used for the actual sky-diving sequence. The real players were shot, all harnessed up as though in midair, playing baseball in front of a blue screen.

The players are stars from the three most baseball-mad Latin markets-the Dominican Republic's Manny Ramirez, Puerto Rico's Carlos Delgado and Venezuela's Bob Abreu. The campaign also ran in Colombia, and Mexico's eastern coast.

Besides the spot, the campaign included a billboard with close-ups of the players' faces in midair and a parachute holding a cooler full of Pepsi dangling from the billboard as though snagged while descending. In a similar online execution, the parachuting Pepsi cooler catches on a banner ad.

Pages BBDO did it all for $500,000. That budget, well below the multimillion-dollar Pepsi shoots done in other markets, pleased Pepsi but didn't win the shop any friends among other BBDO offices that do blockbuster Pepsi spots.

Pepsi wanted to run "Sky Baseball" in the U.S. Hispanic market, too, but U.S. rights to the three players were too costly.
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