If imitation is flattery, Apple and Pepsi-Cola will be flushed with pride as competing soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola announces its plans to offer 20 million free music downloads to UK customers in March/April 2004.

It marks Coca-Cola's launch of its MyCokeMusic.com service this month. It sold 10,000 tracks on its first day despite major technical problems. Coca-Cola is working with Peter Gabriel's OD2 service to sell music in Windows format, so Macs aren't supported.

The free music downloads will be available in a bottle-top promotion, similar to the deal Pepsi and Apple will launch at the SuperBowl on February 1. Pepsi and Apple are offering 100 million free tunes with one-in-three customers guaranteed to win music; in the UK, Coca-Cola is offering just a one-in-ten chance of winning, Digital Music News reports.

Pepsi-Cola today has confirmed reports that its five SuperBowl ads will feature 16 teenagers sued by the RIAA for illegally downloading music. It's intended to show teenagers that there's a new way to get hold of free music – by buying Pepsi and using Apple's iTunes Music Store. The commercial is set to Green Day's version of "I Fought the Law."

The other ads will include:

Pepsi - "Crossroads": Set in 1953, a young Jimi Hendrix seeks refreshment and must choose between a Pepsi and Coke machine. After buying a Pepsi and taking a drink, Hendrix has a revelation and a music legend is born.

Pepsi - "Mountain Men": Two bears exploring an empty cabin in the woods come across food but nothing to drink: the Pepsi cooler is empty.

Sierra Mist - "Bagpipes": A bagpiper performing in extremely hot temperatures finds a unique way to achieve a "shockingly refreshing" cool-down.

Sierra Mist - "Fire Escape": A guy and his dog, now in their third Sierra Mist commercial together, take a plunge from a fire escape to get refreshment during an extremely hot day.

"The Super Bowl offers the biggest and best stage to generate buzz and excitement for our brands," said Dave Burwick, chief marketing officer, Pepsi-Cola North America. "There is no better time or place to launch new ideas like our 100 million-song giveaway promotion with Apple."