New York, May 21 - Pepsi-Cola Company today announced that it has begun filming the world's first commercial in space as part of its new partnership with the Russian Mir space station. For the ad, two cosmonauts on a spacewalk 200 miles above the earth's surface yesterday filmed the deployment of a large-scale replica of Pepsi's new blue can, introduced internationally in April.
Pepsi said its new space commercial will air in 1997 and will feature two cosmonauts currently stationed on Mir, Commander Yuri Ivanovich Onufrienko and Flight Engineer Yuri Vladimirovich Usachev.
"We believe that this will be one of the most exciting commercials Pepsi has ever produced," said Massimo d'Amore, Vice President of International Marketing for Pepsi-Cola Company. "With its universal and futuristic appeal, space is the perfect way to communicate the spirit of adventure that is such an important part of Pepsi's character."
Pepsi said its Mir partnership is a cornerstone of the company's new global marketing assault called "Project Blue." Pepsi-Cola's most aggressive undertaking ever in the international arena, Project Blue is transforming Pepsi's marketplace presence through futuristic blue graphics, breakthrough advertising and blockbuster marketing initiatives such as the new space commercial and the Pepsi Blue Concorde which recently completed a 10-city tour of Europe and the Middle East.
The Pepsi can being used in the space commercial is actually a fully orbital spacecraft which the cosmonauts tethered to the outside of the Mir space station. The concept was developed by EMCI of Stamford, Conn. in conjunction with Space Marketing, Inc. of Atlanta, Ga. The can itself was built by a team of aerospace experts led by International Space Enterprises of San Diego, Calif.
The can is made from a space-grade nylon painted with Pepsi Blue graphics and fitted with highly-durable aluminum end caps which resemble the tapered ends of a soft drink can. This combination of materials allowed the Pepsi can to withstand the extreme temperature swings in space, which can range from -100F to +200F.
Pepsi's can replica was sent into space on May 5 aboard the Russian Progress rocket, which docked with the Mir space station on May 7. After the spacewalk was completed, the Pepsi can was retrieved and stowed for its return trip to earth.
Pepsi's space commercial is the first of several joint initiatives with the Mir space station. Funding from these projects will help support future experimentation in space.
The Mir project builds on Pepsi's historic association with space. In July 1985, a Pepsi beverage dispenser or "space can" was launched into space aboard the Shuttle Challenger to provide astronauts with the first opportunity to consume soft drinks in zero-gravity. Pepsi has also produced several commercials with a space theme: "Spaceship (1984)," in which the inhabitants of a spaceship choose Pepsi over Coke; "Shuttle (1985)," which depicts an astronaut's desire for a cold Pepsi while waiting for lift-off; and "Floats (1986)," produced in English and Russian featuring two astronauts floating through space in pursuit of a last bottle of Pepsi.
Pepsi's new space commercial will be produced by BBDO Worldwide, the company's long-time advertising agency.
Note to Editors: This news release, plus behind-the-scenes video clips and photos of Pepsi's new space commercial, can be viewed on the Internet at JetScream, Pepsi's new international site on the World Wide Web. The URL is http://www.pepsimax.com. A high-resolution photo image suitable for reproduction can be retrieved from http://www.pepsimax.com/mir.