Saturday, February 02, 2008

Pepsi Stuff

Joint Amazon-Pepsi promotion has kicked off. Pepsi has been doing this for quite some time. With some surprising outcomes:

1999; A federal judge in New York City has dismissed a breach of contract and fraudulent advertising lawsuit against Pepsico Inc. brought by a plaintiff who took its television commercial literally and presented the company with the necessary cash and merchandise points to obtain a Harrier Jet fighter plane... Pepsico, the manufacturer of Pepsi Cola and other soft drink products, ran a television commercial in 1995 and 1996 promoting its Pepsi Points program in which Pepsi drinkers could accumulate points and exchange them for "Pepsi Stuff," gifts from a gift catalogue published by the company.

The commercial showed a male teenager leaving for school attired in various Pepsi Stuff clothing items while subtitles indicated how many points are required to obtain each item. One such banner read, "LEATHER JACKET 1,450 PEPSI POINTS." In the next scene, the same teenager is shown arriving at school in a Harrier Jet. The subtitle then reads, "HARRIER JET FIGHTER 7,000,000 PEPSI POINTS."

The Pepsi Points catalogue did not include the Harrier Jet, but it stated that if a consumer lacks sufficient points to redeem an item, he or she could purchase the required points from Pepsico at 10 cents each.

Inspired by the ad, Seattle resident John R. Leonard set out to accumulate the cash and points needed to claim the jet, which is valued at $23 million. He raised $700,000 from friends -- seven million points at ten cents each -- and sent a check and 15 Pepsi Points along with an order form from the catalogue to Pepsico."

I wonder if John Leonard is an Amazon customer and is planning something similar with Justin Timberlake?

1 comment:

Jason said...

The Harrier Jet case made national news at the time. Pepsi eventually raised the "advertised" price for the Harrier jet to 700 million points, which would have made buying the jet completely impractical. (The DoD wouldn't have sold a flightworthy Harrier anyway, no matter what.)

I read through the terms on the Pepsi Points site yesterday as I prepared to enter the 6 codes I'd collected from a pack of Pepsi bottles. This time around there's a limit of 3,000 points per customer for the whole year. Amazon employees aren't eligible to enter points, not even to buy stuff. :( I ended up giving mine away to a friend whose family goes through a 12-pack of Diet Pepsi a day.