Pepsi foreshadows post-pandemic 'mess' in ad from VaynerMedia

Brand channels Broadway classic ‘Tomorrow’ from Annie in spot imagining the return to normalcy

Published On
May 12, 2021

Editor's Pick

Plenty of brands have put out optimistic ads foreshadowing gleeful post-pandemic times depicting everything from drinking beer in big groups to bustling airports. But no marketer has leaned into the possible end of social distancing quite like Pepsi, which is out with a new ad that celebrates what was once a common part of life—the messy moments of rubbing elbows with strangers and not giving it a second thought.

The spot from VaynerMedia is called “The Mess We Miss.” It puts a carefree spin on annoying encounters—like getting stuck in a revolving door with someone, or falling asleep on another shoulder in an airplane seat—while also depicting sweet moments of intimacy, including French kissing in a crowded movie theater. The ad is set to the classic Broadway tune “Tomorrow” from Annie. It debuts today on digital media and is set to get TV airtime in the coming weeks.

Unlike other spots that have plugged vaccination efforts, Pepsi’s call-to-action is rather vague, with text at the end of the spot simply saying, “let’s find our way back to a better tomorrow.” Of course, many people are still living a hard-knock life, filled with erratic hybrid school schedules, or employment instability as so many businesses struggle to return to normal.

Pepsi’s tact is to focus on more innocent endeavors, while linking its soda to social moments like cheering a packed baseball park. 

“Looking back at life before the pandemic, it’s easy to feel nostalgic remembering social occasions that brought together family and friends like sporting events, weddings, and concerts,” Pepsi Marketing VP Todd Kaplan said in a statement. “Even though now those moments might look a bit messy, this familiar past also represents an optimistic future we can all hope to achieve as we look to get to the other side. While nobody knows what our ‘new normal’ will look like, we believe that a life filled with these carefree moments of unapologetic enjoyment is one we can all aspire to.”