The Weeknd in the Pepsi “Get Ready” ad.
Pepsi’s halftime show may be the star of The Weeknd, but the company hopes its new campaign will make a fuss about the show throughout the month.
Beverage brand PepsiCo is replacing its traditional Super Bowl ad slot with a new campaign leading to its halftime show featuring the musician.
Pepsi, which will sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show for the tenth year, said it was the first time the company had unveiled its talent for the halftime show in an ad for the show. The campaign will begin with an advertisement during the NFL Playoffs this weekend.
“Brands usually fall over themselves to get 30 [second spot] and do something fun on social media and try to connect and disconnect, “Pepsi, vice president of marketing Todd Kaplan said in an interview with CNBC.”
For companies, the game is a rare opportunity to attract the country’s attention at once, which becomes even rarer after a year of countless live events canceled, delayed or otherwise affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Companies including M&M, Pringles, Toyota and TurboTax have already said they are advertising during the game. But this year’s event will be similar to any other for brands that will have to strike the right tone in their marketing as the pandemic rages and political tensions potentially subside after the presidential transition.
Kaplan said the company is taking an optimistic approach with its own advertising. The venue includes people filling food shelves, drying their hair, cleaning their pool and doing other solo activities while dancing together or splashing out The Weeknd’s “Blind Lights,” which came out in 2019 and was Billboard’s No. 1 Hot 100 songs of the year “in 2020.
“I think even though consumers are really looking for optimism and some kind of escapism now, you know, given what everyone’s been through,” Kaplan said. “I think no matter what the nation is going through … people like music. It’s a little getaway and just the pleasure of everyday life showing these everyday moments.”
Pepsi’s campaign will include a TV spot, digital push and packaging of 500 million bottles and boxes with a QR code, which leads to a website with branded content and augmented reality experiences. There will also be retail promotions with in-store displays, including Kroger, Target, 7-Eleven, Dollar General.