Pepsi Hooks Up With Marshawn Lynch -- and BBDO, NY

Omnicom Shop Creates Its First U.S. TV Spot for the Brand Since 2008

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Pepsi-Cola is getting back together with BBDO, New York in the U.S., at least for one ad.

The Omnicom agency is behind a new spot featuring Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch that plays off his notoriously evasive approach with the media. The ad was quietly posted on Pepsi's YouTube page last weekend and has since garnered some media attention, and more than 720,000 views.

A Pepsi spokeswoman confirmed to Ad Age that the brand would soon be running it on TV. She also confirmed that BBDO, New York is the agency. The assignment is notable because while other Omnicom agencies have worked on brand Pepsi in recent years, it has been years since BBDO, the brand's former longtime agency, got an assignment.

The ad could foreshadow future work on the brand by BBDO. Pepsi is a regular Super Bowl advertiser and is sponsoring the halftime show again for Super Bowl 50.

The spokeswoman said it was "still too early to confirm anything on our Super Bowl ads," including agencies. "We're happy to be working with BBDO NY again and continuing to work with other agencies as well," she said in an email. A BBDO spokesman referred a call to PepsiCo.

BBDO, New York has regularly produced work for PepsiCo-owned Mtn Dew and the company has a long-running relationship with Omnicom. BBDO has also been involved in global Pepsi work in recent years. But BBDO, New York has not made a TV ad for brand Pepsi for the U.S. since 2008.

That is the year that BBDO ceded lead agency status on Pepsi to TBWAChiatDay, Los Angeles. At the time, it was a huge blow to BBDO, which had worked on Pepsi since 1960 and made it "the choice of a new generation."

In the ensuing years, brand Pepsi moved to a more flexible agency model within Omnicom known as Galaxy in which the brand has used various shops within the holding company, including 180LA.

Pepsi has also gone outside Omnicom for significant work. For instance, independent shop Mekanism made Pepsi Super Bowl ads in 2014 and 2015.