PepsiCo Still Finalizing Ad Lineup for Super Bowl

SoBe LifeWater, Yes; Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Gatorade, Maybe

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The Super Bowl is just five days away, but PepsiCo still hasn't determined how it will fill millions of dollars worth of advertising time.

The company held a press conference this morning to unveil its Super Bowl spots, but little unveiling took place during the two-and-a-half-hour meeting. Executives hedged on the amount of time bought -- three to four minutes would be a good guess -- as well as which brands will be involved.

SoBe LifeWater will definitely air its 60-second 3-D spot, as well as a 15-second spot promoting new SoBe LifeWater flavors using Purevia, a derivative of the Stevia plant. Both spots were directed by Peter Arnell of Omnicom Group's Arnell Group.

In contention
Beyond that, Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Gatorade will get air time, although executives took pains to explain that a number of spots are in contention. TBWA/Chiat/Day handles creative for all three brands.

"We have more material than we can air," said Massimo D'Amore, CEO-PepsiCo Americas Beverages. "This is different from the old times when you just made decisions in isolation. We're following very closely dialogue going on around the world, so that we can make the best possible choice."

Mr. D'Amore explained that ads aired during the Super Bowl would be consistent with work that has been airing throughout January. To that end, the company is monitoring blogs and online conversations to help it choose the creative that will best resonate with consumers.

Pepsi work airing now includes the "Wordplay" series and "Pass," both with the tagline "Every generation refreshes the world." Execs debuted a new ad, "Refresh," that is likely a contender for Super Bowl ad time. It features Will.i.am performing the Boy Dylan hit "Forever Young," along with a collage of new images juxtaposed against similar but older images. An old image of a soldier embracing his child is placed next to a current image of a soldier embracing his child, for example.

'Tease is over'
For the Gatorade brand, the company will maintain the "What is G?" theme, although any Super Bowl ads will be clearly branded. "The tease is over," said Dave Burwick, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo North America Beverages. Outdoor ads that had simply featured the letter "G" are also being replaced with ads featuring a "G" with the Gatorade bolt this week.

A commercial in which the personalities featured in the previous Lil Wayne-narrated spots explain what "G" is could also be a contender for a Super Bowl slot. Execs revealed a video that shows Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Mia Hamm and others talking about what "G" means to them. Beyond commercials, Gatorade will maintain a significant presence at the Super Bowl, updating sideline coolers with its new logo.

Spots entitled 'I'm Good,' which reposition Pepsi Max as the diet cola for men, are likely be part of the Super Bowl.
Spots entitled 'I'm Good,' which reposition Pepsi Max as the diet cola for men, are likely be part of the Super Bowl.
New ads that reposition Pepsi Max as the diet cola for men also will likely be a part of the Super Bowl. Execs debuted 30- and 15-second "I'm good" spots. The ads show men getting hurt -- hit with a golf club or electrocuted, for example -- and then saying "I'm good." A voice-over at the end of the spot says, "Men can take anything except the taste of diet cola -- until now. Pepsi Max the first diet cola for men."

Frank Cooper, senior VP-portfolio brands, said the ads are meant to reach men aged 25-plus with humor, because they don't fit in with the optimistic messaging of brand Pepsi.

"Pepsi Max is definitely going after humor that will appeal to men," he said. "In large part, that's because it's trying to carve out a new space."

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