Pepsi Wants to Be a Movie Mogul

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For PepsiCo, selling soda at the movies is no longer good enough—it wants to be a star on the big screen.

In a bold entertainment marketing bet, the marketer plans to create a full-length feature film based on a Pepsi ad character: Uncle Drew, the elderly, pot-bellied, basketball-loving man played by NBA star Kyrie Irving, who has played the part in popular online videos since breaking through in 2012.

Making viral videos is one thing, but making a movie based on an ad carries greater risk, not least because of the investment involved. It’s been done before, perhaps most notably in the 1990s when Warner Bros. turned the Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny ads from Wieden & Kennedy into “Space Jam.” But Nike was not involved in the movie because the marketer had reservations about getting into the film business.

See more at Ad Age.

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