PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch InBev Collaborate on Promotion, Marketing

PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch InBev are collaborating on joint promotions and in-store marketing for the first time, according to a story by Ad Age. The collaboration will take place in the days leading up to the Feb. 3  Super Bowl.

“We’ve worked well together as official [NFL] sponsors,” said Paul Chibe, A-B InBev’s VP for U.S. marketing, to Ad Age.

An image of an in-store promotion sign displays two bags of Doritos, two bottles of Pepsi, two bottles of Bud Light, a Super Bowl logo and a caption: “Super Bowl. Super Team. Super Party.” This idea builds on PepsiCo’s summer campaign entitled “Power of One,” which promoted Mountain Dew with Doritos and Lay’s with Pepsi.

A memo sent by A-B InBev to distributors referred to the promotion as a “National Big Bet” and included a “save up to $8” mail-in rebate coupon alongside images of Bud Light, Doritos and Pepsi.

“We have always worked with cross-merchandising partners in the past, but for 2013…all three [brands -- Doritos, Pepsi and Bud Light] are trying to work together to have flawless execution at retail,” an A-B InBev distributor told Ad Age.

“The promotions between PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch offer convenience and value to consumers during a variety of occasions. Since we are both official National Football League sponsors, we are in a unique position to kick off the year by helping our consumers celebrate Super Bowl XLVII with brand like Pepsi, Doritors, Budweiser and Bud Light,” said the companies in a joint statement.

While joint marketing can be a challenge, wrote Barclays analyst Andrew Lazar in a report, the promotion could potentially lead to huge profits.

“In our view, the packaging of soft drinks, snacks and beer around a large event makes a great deal of sense, particularly in these channels, and this may be an indication of more to come down the road,” Lazar wrote.

Bill Pecoriello, CEO of ConsumerEdge Research, looked ahead of the promotion and considered what kind of domino effect this deal could influence.

“The news will certainly fuel speculation that ultimately [A-B InBev] might acquire PepsiCo’s beverages business,” Pecoriello wrote in a report.

Pecoriello also noted, however, that an imminent deal is unlikely because A-B InBev will soon close a $20.1 billion acquisition of Mexico-based Grupo Modelo, makers of Corona Extra. Another potential hindrance: PepsiCo is still revamping its beverage business. After 2012, which the company called a “transition year,” PepsiCo will invest an additional $500 million to $600 million to advertise its brands in 2013, especially in North America.