Pepsi Departs Super Bowl For Another Game Entirely

Pepsi Co. is blowing off the Super Bowl this year. So, we won’t be seeing this kind of slapstick entertainment from the beverage brand like we did last year.

According to Meg James of Los Angeles Times:

Pepsi’s decision to sit out the Super Bowl, once deemed a can’t-miss showcase for major advertisers, underscores how the Internet is reshaping marketing by providing companies less expensive ways to convey their messages to consumers who might be likely to buy their products.
Pepsi said it wanted this year to focus on digital media to get “deep consumer engagement” for its Pepsi Refresh Project, a multimillion-dollar grant program that encourages people to submit ideas to “refresh their world.”

Here’s what the Web-centric Pepsi Refresh campaign looks like:

I think it’s safe to say Pepsi’s Refresh is a radical departure. How well this direction works for a brand like Pepsi (that’s expected to entertain) remains to be seen, but I’m very interested to see where it goes.
In related news, Anheuser-Busch is buying 5 minutes of Super Bowl airtime to promote Budweiser and Bud Light.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.