August 19, 2017

DealBook: Nelson Peltz Fund Said to Amass Stakes in Food Companies

Oreo is one of the several brands owned by Mondelez International.Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesOreo is one of the several brands owned by Mondelez International.

10:28 a.m. | Updated
Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management has taken a $2.7 billion stake in PepsiCo and Mondelez International, according to people briefed on the investment.

The investment by Mr. Peltz, a longtime shareholder activist, has raised speculation that he could be seeking a position on the boards of both companies. The stake also raises questions about whether Mr. Peltz, who has pushed for spinoffs and mergers at other companies that he has pursued, will press Pepsi to spin off its Frito Lay unit and merge it with Mondelez, which was the snack business spun off by Kraft last year.

PepsiCo said Friday that it had held meetings with Trian Fund Management but did not reveal the nature of the discussions, but both companies have many prominent snack food brands, which could make a strategic fit. Mondelez owns several well-known brands worldwide including Ritz, Oreo and Toblerone.

“In recent weeks, we have held meetings with Trian to discuss and consider their ideas and initiatives as part of our ongoing evaluation of all opportunities to drive long term growth and shareholder value,” Pepsi said in a statement. “Trian is a respected investor, and we look forward to continuing constructive discussions with them.”

A Trian spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter.

A Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday revealed that Trian Fund had increased its stake in Pepsi to $269 million as of the end of 2012, and that it had taken a $494 million stake in Mondelez. But people briefed on the investment say that the Trian stake in both companies is actually worth $2.7 billion, with $1.4 billion in Pepsi and $1.3 billion in Mondelez.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/pepsi-confirms-talks-with-nelson-peltzs-trian-fund/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Media Decoder Blog: Pepsi’s Next Coke Parody Involves Pepsi Next

One of the two combatants in the cola-wars battle that is to be waged on Sunday night during Super Bowl XLVII is trying to get an early jump on the other.

The PepsiCo Beverages division of PepsiCo and the Coca-Cola Company are to face off during the CBS broadcast of the game with commercials for three soft-drink brands. PepsiCo Beverages is to promote Pepsi-Cola, the sponsor of the halftime show, and Pepsi Next, while Coca-Cola will pitch its flagship Coca-Cola brand.

At 9 a.m. on Sunday, about nine and a half hours before kickoff, PepsiCo Beverages plans to unleash a comical video clip for Pepsi Next that tweaks the commercial planned during the game for Coca-Cola.

The Pepsi Next video will not run during the Super Bowl. Instead, it will be available for viewing on Funny or Die, the Web site known for humorous videos; the Pepsi Next Web site, pepsinext.com; and YouTube.

The video for Pepsi Next features characters dressed like cowboys, showgirls and motorcycle toughs — the types of characters who are to appear in the Coca-Cola Super Bowl spot. In the video, they all try to get cans of Pepsi Next out of a vending machine during a break in the filming of their Coca-Cola commercial while ignoring a Coca-Cola machine nearby.

In the Coca-Cola Super Bowl spot, which is to appear during the first quarter of the game, three groups of cowboys, showgirls and motorcycle toughs (called “badlanders” in the commercial) race across a desert to be the first to find a cold Coke.

Viewers are invited to vote for their favorite group on a Web site, cokechase.com, and the winner of the vote is to be announced in a Coca-Cola commercial scheduled to run after the game ends. (As of Saturday night, it appears that the showgirls and cowboys are neck and neck on cokechase.com.)

The commercial is to be the first part of a Coca-Cola campaign that will run after the Super Bowl and introduce additional characters as well as continue to tell stories about the cowboys, showgirls and badlanders.

The mocking plot of the Pepsi Next video clip is completely different from the plot of the commercial for Pepsi Next that is to appear during the first or second quarter of the Super Bowl. In the commercial, parents who come home unexpectedly to find their son hosting a wild party are distracted by cans of Pepsi Next, which is billed as offering real cola taste with 60 percent less sugar than Pepsi-Cola.

The video is intended to be “a playful and disruptive way” to draw attention to the Pepsi Next brand, Angelique Krembs, vice president for marketing for the Pepsi trademark at PepsiCo Beverages, said in a phone interview on Saturday night from New Orleans, where she was to attend the game.

Funny or Die has produced other humorous videos for Pepsi Next, she said, in connection with the Super Bowl commercial for the brand, and the video “is an extra little poke” at Coke.

For years, PepsiCo mocked Coca-Cola products in commercials for Pepsi-Cola. More recently, the company has assigned that task to other brands like Pepsi Max, which ran a commercial in the Super Bowl last year that made fun of Coke Zero.

Asked if she was worried that Coca-Cola might retaliate against the video before the game, Ms. Krembs replied, laughing, “Unless they’ve got a great-tasting product with 60 percent less sugar, I’d like to see what they have to say.”

Article source: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/pepsis-next-coke-parody-involves-pepsi-next/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Advertising: Pepsi Takes Active Role in ‘X Factor’

“The X Factor,” a British export that will make its United States premiere on Fox on Sept. 21, is the long-awaited competitor to “American Idol” and the new home for Mr. Cowell. The show will also be a marketing centerpiece for its lead sponsor, PepsiCo, whose eternal nemesis, Coca-Cola, is the longtime sponsor of “American Idol.”

As with Coke’s branding on “Idol,” Pepsi’s logos will be a regular sight on “The X Factor,” seen on the judges’ drinking cups, in banner ads and elsewhere. But Pepsi, which is spending up to $60 million for the sponsorship, is also playing an unusually active role in the show itself, and its connection to the show will continue even after the season ends in December.

Adding a sweetener of its own to the $5 million recording contract offered as the top prize on “The X Factor,” Pepsi will have the winner star in a commercial to be shown during the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

“It’s been the most collaborative relationship I’ve ever had with a sponsor,” said Mr. Cowell, the show’s creator. “From Day 1, they just bought into what we’d planned for the show, and almost became like producers. As we developed the show, we consulted with them in all the decisions, and they came and presented to us their own marketing ideas.”

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For Pepsi, “The X Factor” represents a dual marketing opportunity. Through its ads on the show and next year’s Super Bowl commercial, the company will return to its tradition of big, splashy pop music commercials, its bread and butter for much of the last three decades. At the same time, it will step up its recent emphasis on digital and social media.

Frank Cooper, the global consumer engagement officer, PepsiCo Beverages, said that using pop stars in commercials worked well for a time but that the company now wants to have a more active role in the projects it sponsors and in the careers of the musicians it works with.

“Historically our approach, from Michael Jackson in the ’80s through Britney Spears in 2001, was really an approach of borrowed equity,” Mr. Cooper said. “The ‘X Factor’ relationship is more about what role a brand can play in an entertainment platform beyond simple sponsorship.”

The Super Bowl ad — for which the winning contestant will not be paid — will be regularly invoked on the show as one of the ultimate prizes, and Pepsi’s presence on the air is also to include features like a “Pepsi Challenge,” in which viewers choose the songs that contestants will sing. After the winner is chosen, customers will be able to vote online for some of the elements in the Super Bowl ad.

Pepsi’s online promotions for “The X Factor” have already started. In each city where auditions were being taped, the company invited in a handful of popular local Twitter users. They were found using Klout, a company that ranks Twitter accounts by their level of influence. Pepsi will also run game promotions, like having viewers take a picture of a can of soda with their smartphones for bonus content, said Shiv Singh, the global head of digital for PepsiCo Beverages.

“You have to have a can in your hand to do that, so it helps our business,” Mr. Singh said.

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Combining a big old-fashioned media campaign with smaller-scale online activity may also be a chance for Pepsi to satisfy analysts who have been skeptical of the company’s unorthodox recent marketing.

Last year, Pepsi did not run a Super Bowl ad, for the first time in 23 years, but instead it put $20 million toward a charitable online campaign, the Pepsi Refresh Project. And its TV ad spending has declined significantly in recent years. In 2006, Pepsi spent $249 million to advertise its carbonated beverages on television, compared with $264 million for Coke. But in 2010, Pepsi’s spending had come down 45 percent to $136 million, while Coke’s had come down only 23 percent to $203 million, according to Nielsen.

The cola war dealt Pepsi a setback this year. Beverage Digest, a trade publication, reported in March that Diet Coke had surpassed Pepsi as the second-most-popular soda in the United States, with Coke at No. 1.

“The results would suggest that swinging the pendulum all the way to nontraditional media has not worked for them,” said Ali Dibadj, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Company who studies beverages and household products.

This year, Pepsi returned to the Super Bowl and said it would increase the television budget for advertising its beverages by 30 percent.

“Our hope, and our intention, is to find the right balance in spending between TV and digital,” said Mr. Cooper, whose other projects have included Green Label Sound, a record label financed by Mountain Dew, a PepsiCo brand, which releases online tracks by underground rock bands and pays for all the recording and marketing expenses.

The goal for the show, Mr. Cooper said, was also to test the boundaries of the role of a sponsor by becoming as closely integrated within the show as possible.

“When people are sitting on the couch looking at the TV,” he said, “you will see that the actual elements of the song they are singing have been filtered by, shaped by and ultimately brought to you by Pepsi.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=f1f6970d55bdd0720127bbb6127fff2d