NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After dialing back its presence in the Super Bowl last year, when it bought just four spots and used them all on Doritos, PepsiCo is coming back to the big game in a big way this year. In addition to the six spots already promised to Pepsi Max and Doritos for this year's "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, Ad Age has learned that the company has a seventh spot in the mix.
The food and beverage giant is in the process of determining which of its brands will get the spot. Brisk Iced Tea is in the running, according to executives with knowledge of PepsiCo's thinking. But so are brands from the company's snack portfolio.
It's also possible that the company could look to sell the spot back to Fox if it's unable to settle on a brand to advertise. Given the high demand for this year's game, Fox would likely be able to sell it for a higher rate than it was purchased. Fox has been seeking between $2.8 million and $3 million for 30-second slots. PepsiCo declined to comment.
It's not unprecedented for PepsiCo to buy up Super Bowl spots and then determine the brands it will actually advertise fairly close to the big game. In 2009, PepsiCo had snagged a minute for Frito-Lay and three to four minutes worth of time for its beverage brands, but days before the game it said it was still finalizing the lineup. It surprised viewers when it ended up running an ad crafted as part of a sponsorship of the previous night's "Saturday Night Live" broadcast, a commercial that was a spoof of the show's long-running "Macgruber" sketches and included overt mentions of Pepsi.
Brisk, a product of the Pepsi Lipton Tea Partnership, has been growing rapidly. According to Beverage Digest, the line grew its share by 4 points to 14% of the ready-to-drink tea market in the first nine months of 2010. Volume was up nearly 60% during the same period. Growth has been driven by packaging innovation, including a 1-liter PET bottle. Brisk competes with brands including Arizona, Snapple and Nestea.
Conveniently for Brisk, the brand also has a new campaign out that brings back its popular claymation style from the 1990s. The first installment starred Mexican-American action hero Danny Trejo as his character Machete Cortez from the 2010 film "Machete." A video with Ozzy Osbourne will launch on Jan. 14. A company release touting the Osbourne video promises that Brisk will also be partnering with a "few other A-list stars." Agency Mekansim is handling the effort.
Mekanism began working on the Brisk business last September. Omnicom Group's DDB had previously worked on the business. That Pepsi has shifted creative ad responsibilities to Mekanism -- an up-and-coming production studio with offices in New York and San Francisco -- signals that the beverage maker could also be looking to explore branded content and entertainment-related marketing opportunities for the Brisk brand.
~ ~ ~
Contributing: Rupal Parekh and Brian Steinberg