By Mandi Bierly
Updated January 04, 2011 at 03:58 PM EST

Image Credit: Solarpix/PR PhotosThe days of seeing Simon Cowell at the American Idol judges table sitting behind a large Coke glass are really gone. Fox has announced Pepsi as the official beverage sponsor of The X Factor. “The comprehensive sponsorship of The X Factor by Pepsi includes an extensive, multi-platform off-air marketing partnership; weekly in-show integrations and placements; and an immersive content experience online. Pepsi will be the exclusive beverage sponsor of The X Factor both on and off-air,” the release says. Why is the partnership perfect, besides sticking it to Idol? Pepsi is quick to remind you of its “historic, unforgettable campaigns with pop icons like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears, and more recently, Snoop Dogg.” That’s actually a decent argument. If Pepsi is smart, they’ll ask Cowell to film some videos in which he critiques the performances in those commercials. With some creative editing, that could be fun, right?

Personally, I would hate to be on a show sponsored by Pepsi because I am a Coke girl. Yes, I can tell the difference, and I remember having a strong preference (unlike Cowell, apparently) by the time I was a freshman in college (and arguing about it in COM 101). Today, if I’m someplace that carries Pepsi products, I’ll order a Sierra Mist, not a Pepsi — unless I’m in desperate need of caffeine. (Editor’s note: Mandi, you’re crazy. Pepsi is the choice of a new generation! Again.) It’s smart of the soft drinks to target shows with a young audience, because I imagine most of us have established loyalty by the time we’re adults. Let’s take it to a poll!

Read more:

‘The X Factor’ exclusive: First look at Fox’s promo!

Simon Cowell’s rep on ‘X-Factor’ judges: ‘No decisions made’

Simon Cowell confirms his departure from ‘American Idol’ this season

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