When Fox signed up Simon Cowell to produce The X-Factor singing competition after leaving American Idol, it was perhaps not the ideal situation—how Idol will survive Cowell’s loss remains to be seen—but it made sense. Better not to risk someone else grabbing Cowell’s project and set up a competitor across the street: Fox would have both Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Literally, it turns out. Just as the red-and-white of Coca-Cola has been a fixture for years on Idol, Pepsi announced today that it was signing on as sponsor of The X-Factor. So if you’ve been wondering how you will tell the two projects apart, now you know: X-Factor will air in the fall, and they will be drinking a very slightly different beverage!
Meanwhile, Mark Burnett is preparing a singing competition show for NBC. Maybe RC Cola is interested?
The placement-tastic press release after the jump:
FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY, SYCO TELEVISION AND FREMANTLEMEDIA
ANNOUNCE PEPSI AS OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF “THE X FACTOR”
Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America today announced Pepsi as an official sponsor of THE X FACTOR, the award-winning international phenomenon created and executive-produced by Simon Cowell that makes its highly anticipated stateside debut in fall 2011 on FOX.
The comprehensive sponsorship of THE X FACTOR by Pepsi includes an extensive, multi-platform off-air marketing partnership; weekly in-show integrations and placements; and an immersive content experience online. Pepsi will be the exclusive beverage sponsor of THE X FACTOR both on and off-air.
“The X FACTOR’s move to the U.S. is important because it’s about real excellence in music; from the selection of the artists, the development of their performances and the music they ultimately produce,” said Frank Cooper, Chief Consumer Engagement Officer of PepsiCo Americas Beverages. “When you combine those elements with Pepsi’s own deep heritage in music and focus on advancing popular music, you have a powerful partnership that benefits artists, fans and music culture.”
“I am absolutely delighted Pepsi is going to be our partner for THE X FACTOR in America,” said Cowell. “It feels like the perfect fit, and I love their ambition and excitement.”
“We are thrilled to welcome a beloved, innovative brand like Pepsi to THE X FACTOR family,” said Peter Rice, Chairman, Entertainment, Fox Networks Group. “Throughout its history, Pepsi has been known for being unique, fun and refreshing – and that is exactly the type of talent that THE X FACTOR celebrates.”
“With Pepsi as an official sponsor, we have the opportunity to introduce incredibly exciting, one-of-a-kind initiatives that complement the creative spirit of THE X FACTOR,” said Jean Rossi, President of FOX One and Executive Vice President of Sales for Fox Broadcasting Company. “Our marketing partnership with Pepsi will showcase more groundbreaking integrations and promotions that we continue to build at FOX.”
“The best partnerships are always the most organic ones, and we feel a strong creative fit between Pepsi’s brand positioning and THE X FACTOR,” said Keith Hindle, CEO Americas, FremantleMedia Enterprises. “The scale of Pepsi’s ambition for the show is as high as ours, so this is a great opportunity to further build the brand together in the U.S.”
THE X FACTOR is a competition series that gives viewers the opportunity to help choose the next musical megastar. The judges will travel the nation searching for undiscovered talent of any age – both solo artists and groups – who are willing to brave the panel of experts and the American public for a chance to make it big. THE X FACTOR raises the bar and takes the initial auditions to an exciting and explosive new level as the hopefuls will audition not only for the judges, but also in front of a live audience of thousands in venues across the country. The concert-like atmosphere will bring a new dimension to the performances, giving the contestants an opportunity to prove they have the whole package – vocal ability, charisma and stage presence – from the moment they step on stage.
Those contestants who survive the first auditions graduate to “boot camp” and will then be divided into four categories: girls under 25, boys under 25, individuals over 25 and groups. Each category will be mentored by one of the show’s judges, including the inimitable Cowell. The contestants will be put through the paces and mercilessly whittled down until the top acts remain. Not only is it a battle between the hopefuls to stake their claim for the coveted win, but it’s also a showdown among the judges as to whose acts will dominate and make it to the finals. The judges may have their say in how the competition progresses, but it will be up to America to decide who ultimately has THE X FACTOR.