“Music is about taking risks,” says Bozoma Saint John, the gatekeeper to Pepsi’s artist collaborations. “Any brand can slap a sponsorship logo on a stage and walk away. I want to rethink the whole artist relationship, from approach to collaboration to fruition.” Saint John has had many opportunities, including Pepsi’s Summer Beats concert series and individual shows. At Katy Perry’s Hollywood gig last year, Pepsi became the first brand to live-stream a concert on its Twitter page, giving fans incentives to chime in. (Enough #summerbeats and #katykats tweets triggered rainbow-paper cannons.) At this year’s Super Bowl, Saint John created a commercial lead-in to Beyonce’s half-time show–crowdsourcing 500 photos of fans jumping and air-kissing into an animated intro befitting the much-ballyhooed performance that followed.
[Photo by Ben Rayner]