After spending the past several years surrounding its popular Super Bowl halftime show with commercials for its flagship drink, Pepsi wants to spend more time running ads and promotions for the glitzy spectacle before the Super Bowl arrives.
The popular beverage giant on Thursday is releasing a nearly three-minute-trailer trailer that celebrates five musical titans — Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre — who are slated to perform during Pepsi’s halftime show at Super Bowl LVI. Pepsi will call attention to that trailer, which will be available for viewing online, with teaser ads set to pop up during TV networks’ coverage of NFL playoff games over the next week. Just as it did last year, however, Pepsi won’t run any Super Bowl ads for its namesake product, though other parts of parent PepsiCo, like Frito-Lay snacks, will appear during the event.
“A thing this big, we think, deserves its own movie trailer,” says Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing at Pepsi, in an interview. The company has also released a mobile app that will give fans access to all kinds of content associated with the artists and their looming concert weeks ahead of the Super Bowl kickoff.
The trailer is outsize and cinematic. Consumers who find it will see Eminem square off in a rap battle with his alter ego, Slim Shady; Snoop Dogg cruising in a vintage automobile; and Dr. Dre strolling by a giant piano on the beach. among other sights. All five artists are summoned to Los Angeles, where the quintet meet and stroll outside SoFi Stadium, where the game is slated to take place on Sunday, February 13. It will be broadcast on NBC and Telemundo and streamed on Peacock.
In 2021, Pepsi’s decision to take its best-known product off the Super Bowl ad roster was seen as emblematic of a wave of moves by big marketers to keep some of their popular brands away from the field of play as the world grappled with the coronavirus pandemic. Anheuser-Busch InBev put Budweiser on the sidelines, while running ads for other drinks, and Coca-Cola sat the game out altogether.
This year, Pepsi simply thinks the 12-minute halftime show has developed into the best Pepsi commercial there is, notes Kaplan. The company believes the show gives it more share of voice among all the companies hitching their brands to the Big Game, the executive says, citing research that shows a hashtag associated with the mid-event spectacle was used more last year than the main hashtag linked to the Super Bowl. “After the success of last year, we are going to double down on our biggest asset,” he adds.
The 2022 Super Bowl will be filled with commercials from automakers like General Motors and Kia; Taco Bell; Sam’s Club; cryptocurrency makers including Crypto.com and FTX; and veterans like Kellogg’s Pringles and Avocados from Mexico. Speaking during a presentation from NBC Sports on Wednesday, Dan Lovinger, who oversees sports ad-sales for the company, indicated movie studios were making a return to the ad roster after stepping back last year., while sports-betting and streaming companies were flocking to the event.
But NBC may have some more inventory left to sell. Lovinger said NBC was “virtually sold out” of commercial inventory, indicating the network still had a few slots it needed to deal. NBC has sought between $5.8 million and $6.5 million for a 30-second spot in this year’s game, according to executives familiar with the discussions. Last year’s Super Bowl LV, which aired on CBS, generated approximately $485 million, according to Kantar, with CBS seeking around $5.5 million for a half minute of ad time. Last year’s game drew an average of 96.4 million viewers — the smallest audience for the game since 2007