Food and beverage giant PepsiCo has roped in Bollywood actor Salman Khan as the new face of its flagship Pepsi brand of carbonated beverage in India. To note, the actor has been the face of rival Coca-Cola’s popular ThumsUp brand for years and was recently seen promoting Parle Agro-backed soft drink Appy Fizz.
“We are excited to announce Pepsi’s collaboration with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan. Over the last year, Swag has been the underlying message throughout Brand Pepsi’s campaigns, celebrating the innate self-belief of the Indian consumer today. In 2020, we look forward to building the brand’s Har Ghoont Mein Swag proposition with Salman in 2020,” said a PepsiCo India spokesperson.
Khan had previously endorsed PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew drink. Now, he will be a crucial cog in its flagship brand’s campaigns against Ranbir Kapoor-endorsed Coca Cola.
PepsiCo will also associate itself with Khan’s next big release Dabangg 3 that is scheduled to release later this month. “This campaign will give consumers a sneak peek into what the Pepsi 2020 campaign will look like,” the company said.
While beverage giants roping in celebrities to endorse products is a common phenomena in India, advertising gurus are surprised by this new partnership. "Salman, 54, is perfect for Thums-Up as both embodies machismo. Pepsi, on the other hand, is focused more on college goers and young people in general. The beverage giant surely needed a big permanent face to take on Coke’s aggressive advertising . It would be interesting to see how this partnership works out," said an ad guru who has worked with Pepsi.
In recent times, Coca Cola was seen signing sponsorship deals for Indian Premier League and the Cricket World Cup with Star India and ICC, respectively.Owing to his huge fan base, Khan is one of the most expensive celebrity brand endorsers in the country