Pepsi to honor two Queens artists through new campaign

Pepsi NYC Packaging KV
Courtesy of PepsiCo

Two Queens artists are among a group candidates nominated for the Pepsi’s new campaign that intends to spotlight real New Yorkers that embody the true spirit of New York City.

Pepsi is bringing nine locals representing all five boroughs front and center to be the face of its newly launched summer campaign, “Pepsi. It’s a New York Thing,” and giving them each $10,000 to continue embodying the true character of the city. The campaign started July 7 and runs through July 25.

Pepsi wants to support the efforts of locals who help their community, give back and contribute in an authentic and uplifting way. The company is giving each local some financial assistance that they can use to help keep their “New York Thing” going now and in the long run.

“This campaign is about continuing to show our pride and support for New York City, our home for decades,” said Chief Marketing Officer of North Division for PepsiCo Beverages North America Umi Patel.

She said the campaign is to celebrate locals whose diversity, unique energy and unapologetic enjoyment for their passions make New York City “one of the best places in the world.”

The two artists who represent Queens are Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz, a subway performer from Queens, and Caitlin Doyle, who is an actress and creative who started the Instagram account @UrbanHaiku as an ode to New York City. They will have the chance to be the next local Pepsi signs for their upcoming promotion. 

Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz (Courtesy of PepsiCo)
Caitlin Doyle (Courtesy of PepsiCo)

The campaign will feature the locals across billboards and digital content and comes off the back of the brand’s latest custom product packaging just for New York City, featuring the city’s most recognizable landmarks including the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and a shout-out to the classic NYC hot dog vendor.

“Pepsi is an unapologetic brand and a New York company through and through, from our headquarters location to our place on the city skyline, and we want Pepsi engrained within NYC culture,” Patel said. “Like these passionate locals, Pepsi is ‘a New York thing.’”

The company will judge candidates based on their positive impact on the community, how they celebrate a true passion about the city, their contribution as true champions of the diversity of NYC and how they deliver an uplifting sentiment of being an inspiring leader.

Spanning all five boroughs and representing performers, artists, entrepreneurs and more, the New Yorkers featured in the campaign include the following:

  • Kwame ‘Hass’ Thimbiano, a hospitality worker and artist behind Danyaki designs, a custom apron brand for professional chefs based in the Bronx;
  • Tariq Zaid, a Staten Island-based entrepreneur who opened local clothing shop Richmond Hood Co., and Vodega, a vegan bodega;
  • Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz, a subway performer from Queens who uses the item of destruction to create eerily enchanting music;
  • Andrew Ousley, a Brooklyn musician and founder of Death by Classical, a group that plays classical music in crypts, cemeteries and other unusual locations;
  • Pixie Aventura, a Latinx drag queen, actor and singer in Manhattan;
  • Blu deTiger, a young recording artist and bassist born and bred in the city with a star on the rise;
  • Shealyn Brand, a Brooklynite who turned her love of pizza into a business as a connoisseur of her favorite food;
  • Ahmed Alwan, a young bodega owner in the Bronx who rose to TikTok fame through the unique, playful way he engages with his customers;
  • Caitlin Doyle, an actress and creative in Queens who started the Instagram account @UrbanHaiku as an ode to New York City.

The brand is also inviting New Yorkers to nominate six more locals to get their own shot at $10,000 in support of their passion, for a total of $150,000 going to the city’s own. The candidate should be someone who works hard to create something for or give back to the community.

Fans can nominate the people they know to be one of the six winners by going on social media, using both the hashtags #PepsiNYCLocal and #Contest, and tagging @Pepsi, and telling everyone why the nominee should be the next local that Pepsi honors.

To learn more and for official rules, visit PepsiItsANewYorkThing.com.

More from Around New York