Beyoncé's Pepsi ad 'Mirrors' success
In April this year, Pepsi released its commercial titled 'Mirrors' that features international recording artiste Beyoncé and her new single Grown Woman.
In it the 'Bootylicious' entertainer shows off eight of her most memorable looks, including those from her Crazy In Love video from 2003 and the Single Ladies video from 2008.
The spot has been a success for Pepsi's 'Live for Now' campaign that was launched just over a year ago and has been the launching pad for Beyoncé's ongoing world tour, the 'Mrs Carter World Tour' that kicked off in mid-April and runs until September with an estimated 65 shows scheduled for Europe, North and South America.
"Markets around the world have responded extremely well," said Brad Jakeman, president of Global Beverages Group Pepsi Co. "I was in Dubai (recently) reviewing their plans for the Middle East and Africa and all of the markets, from Saudi to Dubai, are very excited about Beyoncé. She is one of the world's truly global artistes. Her tour is obviously going to reach many of our markets and they're very excited about how they are going to activate. There are lots of ideas, both driven from us at the centre but also from the markets themselves are really getting their teeth sunk into the incredible creative opportunities that this affords us."
The success of the spot was due mainly to the significant worldwide appeal of the singer and the work of director Jake Nava, who has had a long history with the former Destiny's Child member. Nava has directed six of Beyoncé's videos, including Crazy in Love, Naughty Girl, Baby Boy, If I Were a Boy and Single Ladies. He has also directed a number of her perfume commercials.
Directing the spot was challenging but interesting, he says. "The interesting thing was how much Beyoncé looked like the old characters," he said. "I directed Crazy in Love with her and when I saw her dressed in the Crazy in Love outfit, it was uncanny because she looked very similar with no special effects and she can still pull off the moves, as good if not better."
The creative process, he said, was a lot more complex. "The creative process on this job was quite drawn out and complex, to be honest, as we were trying to work in lots of versions of her from the past. There was a moment when we were considering using archive footage as we weren't sure how much time Beyoncé would be able to give us to dress up as herself from before and do those parts of the shoot. We thought we might have to use actual parts of the rushes of the video to feature in the ad, acting against current Beyoncé."
Adding, "In the end, we did that a bit, but luckily Beyoncé understood when I said it would be a better approach for her to actually dress up and do brand new performances for the idea. She made the time and we ended up using some archive, but the majority of the footage is Beyoncé dressed up as herself from the old days."
The perfect platform
At the end of it all, Jakeman believes the reach of the commercial which has more than 11 million views on Youtube as well as Beyoncé's global appeal gives Pepsi the perfect platform from which to reach their consumers in ways in which they have never been reached before.
"I think like every major brand we have to acknowledge the profound shifts taking place in the way consumers interact with brands. We don't live in a world any longer where brands can talk at consumers; we have to talk with consumers. So a lot of things that we've been working on with Beyoncé and frankly a lot of the things she's felt very excited about are things that really engage and excite consumers and have them get involved."
He continued, "If you look at what we're doing across the Pepsi world, then Pepsi Pulse is a great example where consumers can really interact with pop culture being served to them in real time, and their interactions are then reflected in Pepsi Pulse. So one of the governing principles of our campaign this year is, 'how do we make sure that everything we do includes the consumer in it?' Not just as a receptive audience to it, but as an active participant."