You may have heard the stories and it’s true, it’s all true — there will be no Pepsi commercials in Superbowl 2010. Normally, this wouldn’t huge news but Pepsi has had a 23-year tradition of advertising during the event. The company was even the biggest advertiser at last year’s broadcast and has often made the Super Bowl the center of its marketing strategies.
Instead, the company will focus on a new campaign called, the “Pepsi Refresh Project.” The idea behind the Pepsi Refresh Project is to award grant money for community projects that are voted on by the community. Pepsi has set aside $20 million ad dollars toward the grants in the hope of winning our love by buying us presents.
Saving the world is the name of the game and Pepsi needs something to help their 7.3% decline in the first 9 months of 2009 — even though Coke, Pepsi’s chief competitor, saw their volume drop 6.6% over the same period. Pepsi also plans on spending 60% more on online ads in 2010 and will even change their slogan to, “Every Pepsi Refreshes the World” — which, while definitely false, still sounds pretty nice.
It’s an interesting move by Pepsi — one that, we think, speaks to the future of advertising. Online ad buys are going up, way up, and companies are starting to realize that while viewers can Tivo over their TV commercials, they may be more inclined to watch the ads if, say, those ads were attached to a web series, or as pre-roll before a show, or in between Hulu videos.
It’s the way of the future, it seems, and Pepsi’s right on board.