Pepsi's Katelyn Cozzi Meola on 'Becoming A Popstar,' DojaCode, and Pushing Boundaries in Music
This edition of Liner Notes is presented by Pepsi, title sponsor of the 2022 Clio Music Awards.
As brand marketing director for Pepsi, Katelyn Cozzi Meola leads brand equity campaigns, branded entertainment initiatives, product innovation launches and digital marketing, ensuring that Pepsi is consistently on the leading edge of pop culture.
During her time at PepsiCo, she has held brand marketing roles across the company's Water portfolio, including bubly sparkling water, LIFEWTR and Aquafina. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Katelyn had a 10-year career in the kids and family entertainment business, working for both Mattel and Toys "R" Us across a wide set of brands on portfolio strategy, content and franchise development, and product innovation, as well as leading long-term entertainment partnerships with Disney and Nickelodeon.
Katelyn holds a dual bachelor's degree in marketing and public relations from Syracuse University. She has been named to Licensing International's Rising Star list, and has won numerous awards for her work in brand & entertainment marketing.
We caught up with Katelyn for our Liner Notes series to learn more about her musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work she's proud of and admired.
Katelyn, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in the suburbs of NYC, and still live here now. I've been a New Yorker my whole life.
Your earliest musical memory.
My first musical memory is dancing around the house with my parents to "American Pie" by Don McLean as a little girl—they played that song on repeat.
Your first concert.
I think it was P!nk—she's such a great performer!
Your favorite bands/musicians.
So different depending on my mood! Some of my favorites are Dua Lipa, Kendrick Lamar, Jack Harlow, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mayer and Lil Nas X.
How you get your music these days.
Streaming all day—love discovering new music that way.
Your favorite place to see a concert.
Madison Square Garden will always feel like my home venue and is a special place to me. My goal is to get to a show at Red Rocks one day.
Your favorite music video.
I grew up watching TRL after school every day, so the Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time" video will always be a core iconic moment for me—setting the stage for a generation!
Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.
I just watched the Kanye documentary Jeen-Yuhs and thought it was fascinating.
A recent project you're proud of.
At Pepsi, we recently co-produced a singing competition show with MTV and TikTok called "Becoming a Popstar." Pepsi has such a strong legacy in the music industry, often working with artists on their journey to stardom, which is what makes this competition so special. I'm very proud of that show and the talent that we discovered!
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
I loved the work that Girls Who Code did with the "DojaCode" project. When you can connect music and creative to purpose in a meaningful way, magic really happens there!
How musicians should approach working with brands.
Collaboration is key. Don't be afraid to bring ideas to the table! I love when our artists and musicians have a creative opinion and push us to make the work better.
How brands should approach working with musicians.
Be open-minded. While there are always brand objectives to achieve, great creative usually lives beyond the boundaries of what has been done before.
What music can do that nothing else can.
Music has the unique ability to transcend time, place, generation and circumstance—it's the connective tissue that allows us to visit a story that is not ours but is somehow familiar to us, all through a shared sense of human emotion.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music world.
I've always dreamed of owning my own restaurant or event venue. I love planning events and anywhere there is food and music is a good time to me!
Liner Notes is our weekly interview series, publishing every Monday, where we chat with folks in the music industry about their creative inspirations, their favorite bands and musicians, and generally what music means to them. For more about Liner Notes, and our Clio Music program, please get in touch.