As part of an unorthodox discussion, Fox and NBC will promote big-ticket shows that run on each other’s networks in order to help Pepsi link its sponsorship of the “X Factor” program this fall to its advertising on NBC’s Super Bowl broadcast in early 2012, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Already, NBC has surprisingly agreed to run a Pepsi commercial in its coming Feb. 5 broadcast of Super Bowl XLVI featuring the winner or winners of Fox’s much anticipated “X Factor” — just hours (maybe less) before the Peacock plans to launch the second season of rival song contest “The Voice.” Pepsi has signed on as an exclusive season-long sponsor of “X Factor,” and will have its products and messages woven into the show. “X Factor” will feature Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul (and some familiar thematic elements) from the network’s spring powerhouse “American Idol,” and is one of this fall’s most-anticipated TV offerings.
A deal quietly being worked out between Fox, NBC, and Pepsi could make airing the commercial worth Pepsi’s while. True, by running the ad NBC will — whether explicitly or not — nod to “X Factor” during the top-rated gridiron classic, but the commercial will not include any logos or identifying marks from the program, or make overt references to the show, according to a person familiar with the matter.