Pepsi banks on Super Bowl halftime marketing, won’t run separate in-game ad

“We actually believe that this is the most precious 12 minutes of marketing airtime in the world right now,” said Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s vice president of marketing. “This is where sport and music really come together and it really helps strengthen Pepsi’s pop culture music justice.”

Pepsi Decision Makes As Brands Reevaluate Their Super Bowl Strategies Amid COVID. Some longtime Super Bowl advertisers, including Coke, Hyundai, and Kia, have yet to make public commitments to return to the game. At least one regular advertiser, Avocados From Mexico, has opted out and finished a six-year run.

“The entire COVID environment has caused companies to reevaluate everything about their marketing and advertising spending,” said Duane Stanford, editor and publisher of beverages magazine, Beverage Digest. Regarding Pepsi, he says, “I’m not surprised that they would do anything different than they did in previous years.”

Pepsi’s investment in Super Bowl branded packaging comes amid soaring in-store soda sales during the pandemic as home-bound consumers keep their refrigerators in stock. According to Beverage Digest, Pepsi-Cola’s retail sales rose 7% in the first nine months of 2020.

Pepsi’s Super Bowl marketing includes POS displays at retailers such as Kroger, 7-Eleven, Target, and Dollar General.

The aggressive push in the store makes sense in the current environment, says Stanford: “In general, people only buy soft drinks. Even if they are not football fans, they will see this packaging. “