Beyonce scores a $50 million Pepsi endorsement deal: ridiculous or smart?

In the history of endorsement deals, this is one of the biggest. Beyonce and Pepsi have just inked a deal that will see Pepsi paying Beyonce $50 million for the honor of being associated with her. The New York Times has an epic story about the endorsement deal, but don’t come out of it thinking that this is just a straight-up endorsement thing – Pepsi and Beyonce are going to be synonymous by the end of 2013, I think.

FOR its campaign with Beyoncé next year, Pepsi doesn’t just want to sign up the telegenic pop star for another TV commercial. It also wants to get into the Beyoncé business. In an expansion of the recent marketing experiments that have brought PepsiCo ever closer to the music industry, the company has embarked on a hybrid project with Beyoncé that will include standard advertising like commercials as well as a multimillion-dollar fund to support the singer’s chosen creative projects.

“Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve,” Beyoncé said in a statement. “As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity.”

The campaign will coincide with a blitz of promotion for her next album, which has no title or release date so far but is expected in 2013. Sometime after she performs at the Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 3 (also sponsored by Pepsi), Beyoncé will appear in a new TV ad — her fifth for the soft drink since 2002 — and her face will be on a limited-edition line of soda cans.

The less conventional aspects of the deal are meant as collaborative projects that indulge Beyoncé’s creative whims, and might well have no explicit connection to Pepsi products. They are still at the brainstorm stage, but could include live events, videos, “a cool photo shoot” or almost anything else, said Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, the general manager of Parkwood Entertainment, Beyoncé’s company.

[From The New York Times]

The NYT piece goes on to talk about synergy and vertical integration, only those words have been replaced by other terms like a “transactional deal to a mutually beneficial collaboration” and “massive disruptions in music industry… as an opportunity for Pepsi.” I mean… sure. I’m no longer concerned about what artists are “selling out” and what artists are “keeping it real.” The only time I think about that is when artists try to push an image of themselves as super-authentic and non-corporate when in reality they are the biggest shill and sell-out ever. Beyonce is walking a fine line, but this doesn’t annoy me as much as I’m sure it will annoy others. Bey has always done endorsements, and it’s fine. It doesn’t affect her “creativity”. It only affects her fat bank accounts.

Some pics of Bey at Art Basel:

Photos courtesy of Beyonce’s Tumblr, additional images courtesy of Pepsi.

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94 Responses to “Beyonce scores a $50 million Pepsi endorsement deal: ridiculous or smart?”

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  1. Christina says:

    Am I the only one who’s sometimes skeptical about the amounts supposedly being paid for these ‘endorsement deals’? Are Pepsi really daft enough to pay $50 million to use the ‘image’ of a singer whose star is on the wane?

    I was also a bit skeptical about those reports that Brad Pitt got $7 million for those Chanel No 5 ads. Apart from the fact that the ads were krap, they’d have a shift an awful lot of perfume to make that pay off.

  2. marie says:

    saw this yesterday and thought “smart move”, can’t hate the girl for getting the money. although if I understand correctly Pepsi will be bank-rolling her upcoming projects-they (Pepsi and Beyonce) stand to make substantially more if all goes well..

    I don’t like her with bangs though, she’s much prettier without them..

  3. Gracie says:

    I would not drink a Pepsi with her face it. Beyonce is fading anyways, better milk it for all its worth. She may have a lot of money, but she’s just empty on the inside and has no character. All she knows how to be is a robot to sell an image. That was for all those stans who think because she’s worth a lot means she’s better or actually worthy of anything.

    • A. says:

      She’s far from empty, she’s just very calculated. Image is important because, well it’s kind of obvious that she likes her money.

      • Gracie says:

        Oh god the Stans are coming in, we don’t even know the exact figures, that number seems way too high for some run on the mill pop tart,,but I don’t think she’s smart, her entire image was her father, and now it’s slipping cause he’s not managing anymore. She seems vapid and completely air headed, my 4 year old cousin seems to be able to speak a coherent and more engaging conversation better than this woman.

      • Karen says:

        I don’t think a fading pop star would get that big of a deal. Her last album did pretty good considering it didn’t have any major hits.

    • Amelia says:

      I wondered if this move meant she was fading too. It seems like a bit of a desperate move to stay in the lime light seeing as her last album didn’t do brilliantly.
      Although, looking at the price of the deal and the fact that her next album is probably coming out next year, I do wonder if this is going to be the beginning of a year where you can’t move without seeing her face.
      So I’m in two minds, really.

    • Sweet Dee says:

      Bey is not empty. She’s full. Full of Pepsi.

    • Tiffany says:

      The idea that her career is fading is pretty silly. Her career is doing great: she is doing an HBO documentary, and she is headlining the Super Bowl half time show…which is the most sought after gig of the year! Clearly the acccounting folks at HBO, the NFL, and Pepsi all looked at the numbers and decided she was a great bet to place their money on.

      You don’t have to be a stan to see that Bey is successful. What is the opposite of a stan? Someone who hates so hard they have to make excuses about someone’s success because they can’t handle it? Now that is really sad.

      • Gracie says:

        I don’t measure success by popularity. They are not mutually exclusive. She’s popular and has a lot of fans, but no real talent. I shouldn’t even have to justify why I’m not up her ass, but I will. I don’t hate this bitch, she has never done anything to me. Her singing is horrible, her acting is horrible, and her dancing is horrible, and she’s very dull and not that bright. Don’t try and call someone sad just because they don’t worship this woman, get over yourself. Beyonce is not the end all be all of music.

      • Karen says:

        Beyonce’s singing is not horrible. She’s no Celine Dion, but she has a good voice and her live performances are amazing. Her music could be so much better but saying she has no real talent is pretty off.

      • Tiffany says:

        Gracie, you tell me to get over myself, but you are the one calling people stans? A person doesn’t have to “worship” a celeb in order to objectively look at their career. I wasn’t calling you sad because you don’t like her, I was calling you sad because you were trying so hard to ignore the facts. Her career is doing well, get over it!

  4. Yo says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the face on the pepsi bottle looks like Kim Kardashian? Is that supposed to be Beyonce?

  5. Paul E. Stanley says:

    Guess I’ll stop drinking Pepsi.

  6. Ranunculus says:

    It just means her creative juices for music making and her voice are over.

  7. Riana says:

    50 million is always smart, I don’t have to love the girl to respect that she managed to arrange that kind of deal. Congratulations to her, I’ve honestly never been a Pepsi drinker so this changes 0 in my life.

  8. Rikki says:

    I don’t drink Pepsi or any other sugary drinks but it’s a smart move business wise. I don’t see anything wrong with celebrities endorsing Pepsi or any other products. That’s their choice.

  9. notpretentious says:

    Love it! It is a great endeavor for her. She is a phenomenal performer and a terrific singer. I am from Coke town (Atlanta), but I might drink a Pepsi or two now. Go Beyonce!!!

  10. Lucy says:

    Smart for her, ridiculous for them.

  11. Tifygodess24 says:

    This is what is insane to me in this country, we have people who can’t put food on the table or get insurance but we have idiots put on Pepsi cans for 50 million dollars. I don’t care who’s on the can that’s just insane. We have people who ACTUALLY save lives and risk their own and they are lucky to make 25K a year. Sick.

    • Gracie says:

      Oh gurl, you preachin to tha choir.

    • Riana says:

      I agree it’s a little ridiculous and I once felt the same as you.

      The reality is people who save lives are performing a service whereas Pepsi is selling a product. I’m not sure how much Pepsi makes in a year but like any other company they’re going to put a petcentage of their money back into advertising their product.

      It’s not an overly-expensive product (what about $1.50) and it might be close to the same amount of money they spend on a stupid commercial or several magazine ads.

      Long story short, as someone trying to get into a career that will hopefully save lives I’ve realized my salary is dictated by the quality of my work and my patients and it will never be on the same payroll as a company that is purely in a profit industry.

  12. TheWendyNerd says:

    Good for her. But maybe not so good for pepsi.

  13. manta says:

    And now children, remember when I was on your Tv screens with the First Lady,encouraging you to make “healthy choices”?
    Well, I didn’t get any money for that. So now, time to support my precarious bank accounts(oops, creativity) and drink as many high fructose soda cans (with my face on it!! bonus) as you can buy. Thanks.

  14. Ellie66 says:

    Just don’t use flames in the commercial remember what happened to Michael Jackson in the 80s making a Pepsi commercial. Watch ur weave B!

  15. Madpoe says:

    It’s too bad Twinkie didn’t get the star treatment :’(

  16. mimifarrow says:

    Can we talk about her wall of bangs? Is she trying to be edgy, or…um, no. Just no.

  17. Dawn says:

    This is beyond stupid. I am a Pepsi drinker and have been all my 50+ years. I am not a fan of Bey and really don’t want her in my refrigerator. Pepsi you could have given that $50 million to relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy and just kept your plain blue can or better yet go back to bottles. But that’s just me.

  18. Jojo says:

    I wonder what Wendy Williams has to say about this.

  19. Tiffany says:

    I am torn about this because Beyonce does not have a balance when it comes to media exposure. When she is out there, she is out there. Even with her self declared break she was everywhere. This deal could have produced a level of excitement if she did not already sign her name to everything with a
    paycheck (Direct TV, Nitendo, really?). I think this one can bite Pepsi in the ass because they are eating the cost of productions, they could be in the red because Bey has expensive tastes amd choices.

  20. lucy2 says:

    Can’t blame her for taking the deal, that’s a lot of money. Hopefully she’s charitable with some of it.
    But I can’t imagine that having her associated with Pepsi would sell THAT much more to make it a worthwhile move for the company. I don’t think she is THAT influential, or that any one celebrity is.

  21. Garvels says:

    More power to anyone like her,who happens to be yesterday’s news,if she can get that much money to support soda pop. I wonder how her best bud Michelle feels about her big pop promotion? Ha ha.

  22. some bitch says:

    Good thing I never drink any carbonated, corn-syrup based beverages. I never knew PepsiCo. was such a creative band. Thought they just made junk food.

    In all honesty, as somebody who has been into music their entire life this disgusts me. There are countless musicians who have more talent in their pinkie finger than Beyonce has in her entire body but they can barely make rent.

  23. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I didn’t even read this, don’t care but I came here to comment about how annoyed I am that this “story” was a big one on the Today Show this morning.

    Sorry I know it’s off-topic but it drives me crazy that no longer does there exist a network “news” (and I use that term loosely) show that doesn’t feel the need to inject some pop culture BS into every segment. In summary, I just have to reiterate what everybody knows already-The Today Show is AWFUL, a joke. Some starlet making $50M for an endorsement deal is NOT a major news story. They should be covering Rick Santorum and the GOP’s dispicable block of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.

    Sorry to rant here, Kaiser & C/B…I know it’s completely off-topic but I just had to vent.

    As far as Beyonce’s endorsement deal, I don’t know if her star is fading-she still seems pretty popular to me. Still, she’s smart to take the money. I sure as hell would.

    • TheOneAndOnly says:

      That story has been covered on CNN, Anderson Cooper, the Wall Street Journal and NY times, and John Kerry gave an interview explaining it; The Today SHow is a joke – aside from filling a time slot, there is no reason for it to exist other than to let celebrity gasbags promote their stuff.
      Watch PBS news programs instead just sayin.
      The public needs to boycott Pepsi to let them know that in these economic times paying some idiot 50 mil is insulting and morally reprehensible.
      I’d rather see my favs 90s supermodels promoting a product than this idiot.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Well, I said “network” tv specifically because I don’t have cable and don’t generally watch tv, but wouldn’t mind getting some ACTUAL news in the morning when I’m getting ready for work. At that time in the morning, PBS plays kids’ shows and cartoons.

        I just don’t know why I have to pay for cable to get real news, that’s all. The Today show never used to be akin to Access Hollywood. True, it was never particularly hard-hitting either but it gets worse every year.

        But yeah, I know what you’re saying-Today Show only ever delivers on my extremely low expectations. I just need to stop hoping for a miracle and stop watching that garbage.

    • mimifarrow says:

      You can stream Democracy Now online at 9am PST. Of course, then you will become suicidally depressed, so uh, maybe get some rum for that Pepsi first. :)

    • ZigZagZoey says:

      Agree! What I hate is when the NEWS has previews for the stupid singing shows etc that air on their network. That is not news, it’s shameless free advertising that I do NOT want to see.

      • TheOneAndOnly says:

        Agree. we all know what fashion mags have become, one long commercial for whatever celebutard has a movie/cd/tv show to promote; But don’t just blame the corporations, it takes many to tango.How many major musicians/groups do you see blasting the corporate takeover of music?

  24. PrettyTarheel says:

    Am I the only person who thinks the person pushing the cart looks NOTHING like Bey in ANY version?

  25. Tazina says:

    She’s obviously smart business wise but I saw her being interviewed on Letterman and she was so dull it would have been more interesting watching paint dry. She is a very lucky woman to have gotten this far and I hope she appreciates it.

    • littlestar says:

      Smart business wise, yes. Although you have to wonder what kind of “team” she has behind her helping her make these decisions. But overall, is Beyonce intelligent? My answer is no. I’ve seen her in interviews too – so dull, and nothing to say really. I think SHE thinks she’s savvy and smart, but when she talks, it’s just so UGH. She definitely missed out on an education.

    • BeesKnees says:

      I saw her in concert and she was very entertaining, but she seems to have no personality whatsoever in interviews.

  26. TheOneAndOnly says:

    Agree Dawm Where is occupy wall street when you need them to assail this example, of yes, capitalist greed and stupidity. Syracuse Prof Arthur Brooks wrote a book Who Really Gives and it is certainly not this vain, semi-literate, narcissistic toddler and tiara bozo; it was actually social conservatives that gave the most (I’m a lib btw).
    Anyway, this is disgusting; I don’t want this vapid one per center’s face on my pepsi can – I’ll switch to coke;
    And to think there are unemployed VETERANS in our countrt and how much of this loot will fakeyonce donate to say the Wounded Warrior Project – nothing.
    I’m going to dig out my old Jimi Hendrix and CCR cds – remind myself of what music was like before everyone became cheap ass shills.
    I agree Gracie she may be the most empty-headed substanceless bimbo in celebutard world I don’t understand what her stans see in this robotized creation. And embarassingly Pres. OBama called her a “role model” FOr what?

  27. Sweet Dee says:

    Bey may be hungry for money, but she only thirsts for Pepsi.

  28. Lindsey says:

    We don’t really have Pepsi in a lot of places in Atlanta, but good on her.

  29. Jean says:

    Bey still tryin’ buy herself white.

  30. taxi says:

    Is she the one who claims to taste like Pepsi?

  31. Isa says:

    Smart move on her part but I think it’s absurd for Pepsi to pay that much money. I don’t want her face in my can of Pepsi’s. I have been a Pepsi drinker for a long time; trying to stop and I think this my be the push.

  32. nikzilla37 says:

    Gross. She sure as hell didn’t get that body by drinking Pepsi. What a farse.

  33. Nicole says:

    She is so dull and manufactured. Why does Pepsi need celebrity endorsements anyway? Aren’t they one of the top selling soft drinks? I’ll stick to my Diet Vernors. :)

  34. babythastarsshinebrite says:

    Can’t stop chasing that paper…

  35. Bonfire Beach says:

    This is why I drink Coke products.

  36. Desmoe Dollas says:

    first off, why is the hate always thrown at Beyoncé?!! even when she’s doing something right, someone always has something negative to say. at the end of the day, she’s getting these checks. if Pepsi wants to give her a crap load of money to be in partnership with her then so be it. I am a huge stan of hers, but this woman is one of, if not the biggest pop stars of this generation. she falls in that category with Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Whitney Houston and anybody else in the music industry who’s great. past and present. Beyoncé is a living legend. whether you agree or disagree. check her stats! who else is filling her shoes? nobody. she’s the queen at what she does. call her boring, dull, or uneducated. but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s talented and had sold millions of records and was apart of the worlds best selling girl groups of all time. I’m sure if we were offered 50 mil to endorse a soft drink? we’d be pushing that basket up there too. so kill the nonsense.

  37. ClaireB says:

    I really don’t get it.
    Why does she want to be associated with that type of product, when she clearly can make all that is written there with her own money, and be remembered for the music? Then she really won’t sacrifice her creativity. For the scale to be bigger? But how bigger can you get? What is this need to be there with the rest of the mega-brands, Apple, Virgin, Pepsi, Beyonce, L’Oreal, Coca Cola ?? WTH ?

  38. sitting quietly says:

    Now that she’s a mom, wish she wouldn’t endorse something so unhealthy for kids. but i guess money is money — but how much does she really need.

  39. Brittney says:

    You know what? I hate the prevalence of soft drinks and commercialism in general, but I would take this deal in a heartbeat. Do you know how many lives could be saved with $50 million? Not saying that’s what she’ll do with it, of course… but man, the schools and hospitals and animal shelters that could benefit from this…

  40. Tim says:

    This wouldn’t influence me to by soda either way…

  41. dcypher1 says:

    I bet bey dosent even drink pepsi all these celebrities just drink water. Too much soda makes u fat.

  42. floretta50 says:

    This is great news that a woman of color grace a pepsi can. I think Beyonce is a great performer maybe I might listen more to her music. But coming from the sixties era, which were a time of great artist of soul music every time I hear one of her songs she seem to have taken a line or phrase from a song of that era and sneak it in her songs. The young people of today might not notice but we of the older genration listened to that music so much we can quikly pick out the lyric. I still think she should be praised for such a great accomplishment.

  43. Shelly says:

    Pepsi sucks and so does Beyonce. I don’t get her appeal. She’s boring.

  44. Did anyone else see the connection between Pepsi’s can being blue and Blu Ivy? I’m just saying. . .