Fox, Pepsi Team Up on ‘Cherries Wild’ Game Show

The name of the show is similar to the name of the soda that sponsors it.

Fox and Pepsi will team up to launch “Cherries Wild,” a new game show meant to evoke thoughts of Pepsi Wild Cherry, a soda the beverage giant aims at younger consumers. Over the course of half an hour, contestants will navigate their way through two rounds of pop-culture trivia in hopes of winning a $250,000 jackpot. At the end of each episode, contestants will try to capture five Wild Cherries from a giant slot machine to win. The program is created by Wes Kauble, known for his work on “Beat Shazam” and “Supermarket Sweep,” and hosted by actor Jason Biggs.

The concept is just the latest to tie commercials and content in the same package. As consumers find more ways to avoid watching commercials — including viewing their favorite programs via streaming, where ads are often reduced — advertisers are seeking ways to embed themselves in the programming  “Now more than ever, consumers are looking for content that entertains them in new ways and formats, as the media landscape continues to rapidly evolve,” said Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing at Pepsi, in a statement.

Pepsi in recent weeks has unveiled a number of initiatives that make its beverages part of the shows to which consumers flock in the first place. In November, the company found a way to place its Mountain Dew into an episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” — just the second time any advertiser has managed to get a product placed in that series. Pepsi’s Wild Cherry Pepsi is also in the midst of sponsoring a reality competition on Triller, the social-media app that lets users synchronize video and backing tracks.

Pepsi and Fox have blended ad messages and programs in the past. In 2015, Pepsi was made part of a multi-episode storyline in the hit Fox drama “Empire,” and the arc was capped off by a character appearing in a Pepsi commercial placed strategically in an ad break following the climax of the storyline. Pepsi also served as the charter sponsor of the Fox musical-competition show “X Factor” in 2011, a deal that had its products and ad messages woven into the program. Pepsi parted ways with the series in 2013.

Kauble will serve as executive producer of the series, which is produced by Fox Alternative Entertainment. Pepsi worked with The Content Collective, the entertainment and content marketing division of Omnicom Media Group and OMD to negotiate and structure the partnership around “Cherries Wild.”




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