SBD/January 24, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Pepsi Placing Super Bowl Focus On Halftime Show, Will Only Run One In-Game Ad

Pepsi is focusing on its sponsorship of the halftime show starring Bruno Mars
Pepsi has "downsized its Super Bowl commercial buy this year, securing only a single 30-second ad for its flagship cola," marking a "significant change from recent years, when line extensions such as Pepsi Next and PepsiMax shared the spotlight in separate commercials," according to E.J. Schultz of AD AGE. The soft drink company is hoping to "get a bigger bang for its slimmer ad load by pouring all of its resources behind its sponsorship of the halftime show." PepsiCo North America Beverages VP/Marketing Seth Kaufman said the company is "fundamentally playing a different game" for the Super Bowl. He added the marketing is "no longer about 30 seconds" but "about a month long, really, really meaningful program." Schultz notes the effort, which has "included digital videos and halftime-themed ads aired during the NFL playoffs, will culminate Sunday with a two-and-half minute ad running during Sunday's Grammy Awards." The spot asks the question, "What if the Grammy's had a halftime show?" Meanwhile, Kaufman said that Pepsi's "sole in-game Super Bowl ad will introduce the halftime show, weaving in scenes from the New York City-area." The ad is from Mekanism, which "handled last year's halftime intro spot for the brand." Schultz notes Pepsi began "teasing its halftime show on New Year's Eve with digital out-of-home ads in New York that asked consumers to 'Get Hyped for Halftime.'" During the NFL playoffs, Pepsi "ran an ad reimagining what the first football halftime was like." Kaufman said that Pepsi "still believes in the power of in-game Super Bowl ads and the eyeballs and engagement they draw." But he added the brand wanted to spread its messaging across "these other audiences" (ADAGE.com, 1/24).
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