I have a question. If someone is being a sucker, is it better or worse to knowingly be a sucker? Pepsi is giving away free downloads from Apple's iTunes Music Store. If you buy a bottle of Pepsi, you have a one in three chance of getting a free song. Despite the fact that I know it is dumb to spend $1.25 to get a 33% chance to get a 99 cent song, I've started buying Pepsi anyway. Clearly I'm being a sucker. I wonder if that's made worse or mitigated by the fact that I know I'm being a sucker.
On a more serious note, I've been wondering what Apple and Pepsi's target audience is. If their primary target is people who already use the iTunes Music Store, then this is just an attempt to sell more soda. It's a successful attempt in my case, but that doesn't really give it a higher purpose.
On the other hand, I wonder if they are targeting users of file sharing software. These are people who already consider the Internet to be a source of music, but only free music of dubious legality. Given the opportunity to download legal free music, some file sharers may try it. Then it's up to Apple to convince the downloaders that iTunes is better than file sharing.
If that is their goal, then the promotion which looks like a way to sell soda is also a tactic to encourage the use of paid music services rather than free ones. The commercial run during the Super Bowl supports this thinking. The message seems to be, "We know you're going to download music. Why not try it legally?" The commercial repeats the line that the recording industry has been suing downloaders of music, which is not correct. All the lawsuits so far have been against music sharers, not downloaders.
Regardless, if their target is file sharers then the campaign is more clever than it seems. I wonder if it will succeed.