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Tuesday, January 18, 2005, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Apple and Pepsi to retry iTunes promotion in 2005

Apple Computer and Pepsi, which last year misfired on a joint promotion aimed at promoting Apple's iTunes music service through sales of Pepsi soft drinks, will retry its hand in 2005.

The scoop, originally reported by MacRumors, claims the two companies later this month will begin to give away 200 million free songs and 200 iPod minis through codes randomly placed underneath Pepsi bottle caps.

Apple briefly published a page promoting the giveaway, but later removed it from the internet. A mirrored screenshot of the page still remains viewable.

The free iTunes song codes will be available beginning January 31st under specially marked 20 oz and 1-liter Pepsi bottles as well as some fountain drinks available at participating locations. The promotion will run through April 11, 2005, with the last day of code redemption set for May 23rd.

According to a set of official contents rules, which have also been yanked from the net, consumers who redeem free song codes will automatically be entered into a daily iPod mini giveaway sweepstakes. Each day from February 2 to April 11th Apple will hold a drawing from those entries to select a winner of a free iPod mini.

Apple said the odds of winning a free song are 1 in 3, but is reportedly limiting participation to 10 code entries per day, or 200 total throughout the promotion. The promo is expected to be largely publicized in a SuperBowl XXXIX commercial on February 6th, much like the kick-off to last year's Apple-Pepsi collaboration.

This year, Apple is expected to have a hand in the creation of the ad spots which will debut during the big game. Last year, ads for the contest were created solely by Pepsi's ad agency and were met with both poor reviews and responses.

In 2004, the two companies launched a similar campaign to give away 100 million song downloads. However, the effort was marred by problems associated with redeeming codes as well as delays in rolling out the Pepsi bottles promoting the contest.