celebrity brandcasting

Diet Coke and Pepsi Pick Their Divas in Beyonce and Taylor Swift

Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2013 08:01 PM

Whether Beyonce actually dared to lip-sync the National Anthem during President Obama's second inauguration, one thing is clear: The controversy has landed her back in the headlines, if not as disgraced as Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o.

Beyonce stands a major chance at public redemption with her Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, to be sponsored by Pepsi, and by the continued unfolding of her $50-million endorsement relationship with the soft-drink brand. There's also an upcoming HBO documentary about her life.

As Beyonce prepares for the halftime show and a rumored reunion there with Destiny's Child, Coca-Cola has been signed up another powerhouse pop star in Taylor Swift. The current highest-paid celebrity under 30 has seen her star rise of late. She recently posed as Rapunzel for an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot for Disney. Keds has enlisted her as a brand ambassador in return for helping to launch her latest album, Red. She also pitched Sony's cameras as part of that album's tour.

Now Swift is continuing that momentum by signing on as Diet Coke's counter to Beyonce. Swift "will partner with Diet Coke on a series of branding initiatives ... with the partnership going beyond simply 30-second TV spots" Ad Age reported. At least Swift apparently will not be contesting Beyonce's hold on the Super Bowl. According to Diet Coke's video announcement by the performer, fans will enjoy "backstage access to Taylor's extraordinary life including the opportunity to win Diet Coke "Silver Tickets" to attend the sold-out Red Tour!"

Partnering with female pop stars is nothing new, of course. Look at Lady Gaga, who's been fairly quiet as a one-woman brand lately, or Katy Perry, who recently saw the release of her own personal flavor of Popchips, Katy's Kettle Corn, in a Katy-themed pack at Target stores. Perry became an investor and creative partner in Popchips last year, echoing a similar move by Ashton Kutcher — who duly landed in hot water for his campaign for the brand.

Diet Coke is trying a slightly different tactic in the UK, meanwhile, where it's running an ad campaign featuring a semi-clad hunk — a lighthearted ode to the iconic campaign with which Coca-Cola introduced the brand (as "Coca-Cola Light") in Great Britain 30 years ago:

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