entertainment

Pepsi stars with Super Bowl star The Weeknd

The Weeknd in Pepsi ‘Get Ready’ ad.

Pepsi

Pepsi may be starring at The Weeknd, but the company is hoping its new campaign will cause a stir on the show throughout the month.

The drink brand PepsiCo is replacing its traditional Super Bowl ad with a new campaign to lead the halftime show featuring music.

PepsiCo, which will sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show for the tenth year, said it was the first time the company had exhibited halftime show talent in a commercial about the show. The campaign will start with a commercial during this weekend’s NFL matches.

Traditionally, brands are holding back at a 30 [second spot] “We’ll take the experiment from 12 minutes to six weeks,” Pepsi Vice President of Marketing Todd Kaplan told CNBC in an interview.

For companies, the game represents a rare opportunity to grab the country’s attention once, and the game has become more scarce after a year that has seen countless live events canceled, postponed, or otherwise affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies like M & M’s, Pringles, Toyota, and TurboTax have already said they’re advertising during the game. But this year’s event will be unlike any other for brands, which will have to hit the right tone in their marketing with the outbreak of the pandemic and the political tensions likely to decrease after the presidential transition.

Kaplan said the company is taking an optimistic path with its own announcement. The site shows people restocking grocery shelves, drying their hair, cleaning their pool, and doing other solo activities while dancing along or across the “Blinding Lights” belts at The Weeknd, which was released in 2019. Billboard “No.1 Hot 100 Song of the Year” in 2020.

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“I think although consumers are now really looking for optimism and some sort of escape from reality, you know, given what everyone has been through,” Kaplan said. “I think that no matter what the nation is going through … People love music. It’s a simple escape, just having fun in everyday life, and showing these daily moments.”

The Pepsi campaign will include TV advertising, digital payment, and packaging of 500 million bottles and boxes with a QR code that leads to a website with branded content and augmented reality experiences. It will also have retail promotions with in-store offers at store locations including Kroger, Target, 7-Eleven, and Dollar General.

Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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