The World: Consumers to create Pepsi spot in China

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[shanghai] PepsiCo is tapping into the popularity of the Internet in China with a contest inviting user-generated content to create the next Pepsi commercial. With China's economic market reforms, "consumers, especially young people, are getting more self-expressive, optimistic and forward-looking," said Richard Lee, Pepsi's Shanghai-based VP, Greater China. "Each year we try to experiment with new unconventional ways of doing marketing, which make consumers the center, make brands as active and engaging as possible."

The soft drink marketer's latest idea is the Pepsi Creative Challenge, which invites consumers to help develop the company's next TV spot starring Asian superstar Jay Chow by logging on to a micro site created with Netease (, one of China's leading portals.

They can submit scripts for a TV commercial with up to 200 words, which are read and scored by other consumers. Every two weeks through the end of June, a panel of executives from Pepsi, along with Mr. Chow, will pick the best five ideas from the 100 highest-scoring entries. From a field of 15 finalists, Internet users will have two weeks to vote for the best script. The winning work will be developed into a spot and aired in October.

"The consumers are not a passive audience, they become Pepsi marketers," said Mr. Lee.

Finalists will get a $1,250 cash prize and attend the launch party in October, when the winning spot will go on air. The winner will take home $12,500 and participate in production meetings to help choose props, select the cast and shoot locations. In the days following the promotion launch on May 15, the site received thousands of entries.

Collaborating with consumers is becoming almost inevitable in China, particularly for youth brands, since that demographic dominates China's online market. China has over 111 million Internet users-including 64 million with broadband access-and was home to more than 33 million bloggers by the end of last year, according to Analysys International.

-normandy madden

Giant Adidas ad greets World Cup fans

[munich] One of the first sights soccer fans will see as they start arriving in Germany for the World Cup this week is a huge Adidas outdoor ad featuring one of Germany's biggest soccer heroes spanning the four-lane highway leading to Munich airport. In the 215-foot-long cutout image, Oliver Kahn, (goalkeeper and captain of the soccer team FC Bayern Munchen) appears to be reaching across the autobahn to grab the ball over his head. From one side of the billboard, his face is visible; the opposite side shows his back. TBWA Germany, Berlin, created the poster, and media was handled by Carat, Hamburg.

-dagmar mussey

Online advertising to overtake papers in U.K.

[london]Internet advertising will attract more marketing dollars than national newspapers by the end of this year, according to a U.K. forecast by GroupM.

The report by Group M, WPP Group's media holding company, predicts that the Internet will account for 13.3% of the $22 billion U.K. advertising market this year, overtaking national newspapers, which have a 13.2% share.

The report underlines the continuing fast growth of Internet advertising, which took a 1% share of the U.K. market six years ago. With mobile and interactive TV also growing, new media is the only medium attracting new money.

Factoring out Internet-advertising figures, U.K. media growth was flat in 2005 and is forecast to decline by 2% this year. The 39% growth for Internet advertising contrasts with a 9% drop in national-newspaper ad revenue.

By the end of 2007, Internet advertising will close the gap on regional newspapers, the second biggest ad medium in the U.K., but will still be well short of television, accounting for 28.6% of total adspending.

Adam Smith, futures director at GroupM, said, "This is a sign of health in the market. The fall in large audiences has turned out to be a benefit-advertisers are coping well and they are able to substitute one medium for another, often at a lower cost." -emma hall


boston-based agency Modernista has opened an Amsterdam office to work for General Motors Corp.'s Hummer in Europe. The managing director of the office is Nick Simmonds, former head of client services at Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam...Volkswagen Group has selected Fallon Worldwide, Tokyo, to launch its Eos four-seat coupe in Japan in late 2006, following a pitch against DDB Worldwide, Tokyo. The hardtop model converts to a cabriolet with the push of one button. Fallon also handles creative for VW's Jetta, Passat and Golf Family models in Japan.
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