Poppi’s ad does not include celebrities. There is a moment, however, where Ellsworth is shown on a TikTok screen to represent where Poppi came from, while the diverse young cast shows the brand’s ethos, said Judd.
While Poppi has made big awareness gains since launching its campaign in January, “I would say we are still in the emerging phase of the [awareness] curve,” Judd said.
The brand’s social-first approach has made it well known to Gen Z and millennial audiences, but “this is an opportunity to really expand households that jump us up to the next level, but get us on a more moderate level to the total U.S. population overall.”
Competitor Olipop is not running an ad in the game, barring a last-minute surprise, but is still trying to get in on the Super Bowl buzz via social media. It is promoting a “Tailgate Rug” that it says is a “spill-free” spot to hold a can of Olipop. The brand is offering a chance to win the rug in time for game day on Instagram.
People love fizz
Poppi’s commercial positions the brand as an evolutionary disruptor in the soda business, starting where traditional players end—with healthier ingredients, less sugar and prebiotics—while celebrating the tastes, smells and feel of sodas of the past.
“One of the things we learned from Poppi is that bubbles and soft drinks are still very popular with consumers,” said Duane Stanford, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest. “People love fizz, they love things like soda to drink.”
To Stanford, Poppi and Olipop have demonstrated there is growth in “better for you” sodas—but he’s not yet convinced that traditional soda drinkers will necessarily break their habits to switch, given Poppi’s price premium. The brand retails for about $2 a can, said Stanford, while Coke and Pepsi can cost as little as 50 cents or 80 cents a can.
“It would be easy to overstate the extent to which will be able to take share from the big soft drink players, but there’s a growth market in these soft drinks billed as healthier,” Stanford said. “Young consumers identify with the ingredient label and the lifestyle of some of these brands. There’s growth to be had there.”