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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pepsi Pitch to Include Space Station Mir

LONDON -- Pepsi said Tuesday it had clinched a deal involving the Russian space-station Mir as part of a $500 million advertising campaign to claw back market share from archrival Coca Cola.

PepsiCo disclosed the arrangement during a glitzy media launch in which the firm, among other things, painted a Concorde supersonic airliner electric blue and flew in supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford as well as U.S. tennis star Andre Agassi.

The media stars will appear in advertisements hyping a change of colors in Pepsi cans to blue from the traditional red, white and blue.

Company officials showed one advertisement featuring two Russian Mir cosmonauts in front of a Pepsi billboard. It was described as the first billboard in space.

The overall campaign, called "Project Blue," is aimed at capturing the imagination of teenage consumers and is seen as crucial to Pepsi sales in the next century.

"The stakes have never been bigger. Project Blue is how the cola wars will be fought and won in the next millenium," said John Swanhouse, senior vice president of Pepsi International Marketing, at a news conference at London's Gatwick Airport.

Coca-Cola sells three times more soft drinks worldwide than Pepsi. Pepsi has also been hit by buoyant sales of supermarket-brand colas.