Pepsi's Simple Plan Points To The Rockies

Partners with Hard Rock Cafe for concert promo

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% In an attempt to marry the youth market's enthusiasm for high-adrenaline snowboarding and the aggressive punk-pop strains of Canadian band Simple Plan, PepsiCo's SoBe and the Hard Rock Café are putting together a grassroots promotion that will culminate in a concert by the band Jan. 24.

"We felt that SoBe is a brand very active with teenagers, so hooking up our brand with a proper band is a powerful way to entice kids to buy our product," said Frank Tansey, PepsiCo's national account sales manager, who's responsible for all beverage sales—including Lipton Tea, SoBe, and Aquafina water—to ski resorts and Hard Rock Cafes across the country.

The promotion, called Ultimate Altitude Buzz, will be supported by local radio and point-of-sale material at 47 local Hard Rock Cafés across North America. Unsigned bands will battle it out across 10 local Hard Rock Café markets with the winner of the contest being flown, all-expenses-paid (courtesy of airline sponsor United Airlines) to Steamboat, Colorado to open up for Simple Plan at a 1,600 capacity venue inside the ski resort. Pepsi has put $100K in media dollars into the program.

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% Leading the charge on the promotional front is Los Angeles-based Fanscape, a grassroots music-marketing outfit that has a nationwide network of street teams comprised of thousands of music enthusiasts who promote bands like Simple Plan, which the company has been working with for two years. The company was founded in 1998 by two former record-company execs, Terry Dry and Larry Weintraub.

"Remaining current and edgy is the lifeblood for us and that's why we try to help bands get a leg up," said Steve Glum, senior director worldwide marketing, Hard Rock Café. "The contest of bands vying for an opening slot was born out of the desire to get our local Hard Rock units involved."

Eric Lawrence, Simple Plan's manager, is pleased with the exposure the band will get, both in terms of the radio weight—for which its label Warner Music Group's Lava Records won't have to spend a penny—and the presence at the Hard Rock units, where the band's music videos will be shown.

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