Some major brands will be noticeably absent from Super Bowl LV. Pepsi will not run a standalone ad this year, Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports. Instead, the brand will focus on its sponsorship of the halftime show featuring The Weeknd. This marks the first time since 2017 that Pepsi will not run an in-game spot for its flagship cola brand. This is the 10th straight year the brand has sponsored the halftime show, and trademark Pepsi has run a separate ad in all of those years except for 2017, when PepsiCo dedicated a 30-second spot to its then-new Lifewtr premium bottled water brand. (In some years, Pepsi used its in-game ad time to hype the halftime show, like in 2014 and 2015.)
Still, the company will run spots for its Mtn Dew brand and it could also run commercials for other beverage or snack offerings.
Hyundai is also sitting out of the Super Bowl after running commercials in 12 of the the last 13 games. “This was a decision based on marketing priorities, the timing of upcoming vehicle launches and where we felt it was best to allocate our marketing resources,” according to a company spokesperson, who added, “we will certainly be back.”
The last time the company skipped the Big Game was in 2015, when a meaningful crop of automakers also decided not to run ads.
The auto sector will be watched closely, as the category, which typically has a large presence in the Super Bowl, is expected to be lighter this year due to the effects of the pandemic. Kia, another regular automotive Super Bowl advertiser, has not yet announced its Super Bowl plans.
You can take a look at prior Super Bowl ads from these brands and many others in our voluminous, searchable Super Bowl Ad Archive.