Following Pepsi’s 2021 launch of its “Soda Shop” line of limited-edition soda flavors inspired by those served in old-school malt shops, the beverage company is once again taking consumers on a nostalgia trip—this time encouraging them to “cut footloose” with singer Chloe Bailey.
Pepsi partnered with Bailey to put a modern spin on the 1984 film “Footloose” with a music video of Bailey’s cover of the movie’s titular song. It promotes the return of its two Soda Shop flavors, cream soda and black cherry, along with the launch of a new zero sugar version of its cream soda. The video, produced by VaynerMedia, reimagines the plot of “Footloose” in a contemporary setting and features Bailey rebelling against signs that forbid music, singing and dancing with a dazzling musical performance.
The Soda Shop line “was wildly successful last year. We couldn’t keep it in stores,” Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s chief marketing officer, told Ad Age. Pepsi’s Soda Shop flavors represent a cross between “indulgence and nostalgia” that resonated with consumers—feelings the brand hopes to revive with the return of the limited-edition line and its ties to the enduring legacy of soda shops, he said.
A 30-second cut of the ad will debut during “Saturday Night Live” on Oct. 15, and will also play during a TV broadcast of iHeartRadio Music Festival, which Bailey performed in. Hannah Lux Davis and Sean Bankhead, notable figures in the music video industry, directed and choreographed the video, respectively. The duo also produced Pepsi’s reimagined version of the song “You’re the One That I Want” from the 1978 movie “Grease” last September, which tapped Doja Cat to promote Pepsi’s initial launch of its Soda Shop products.
Pepsi chose to use “Footloose” as the song for the video after the song experienced a cultural resurgence earlier this year originating from the “Footloose Challenge” on TikTok. In May, TikTok users began posting videos of themselves lifting a dance partner into the air before lowering them into a dip in time to the “Footloose” chorus. The hashtag has garnered over 135 million views and even led Kevin Bacon, who starred in the original film, to do his own recreation of the dance move.
As part of Pepsi’s promotion of the Soda Shop launch, Bailey will post a TikTok video asking users to mirror part of her choreography from the Pepsi music video. Those who take part in Pepsi’s challenge will have the chance to win various prizes, including posters and the shoes Bailey wore for the “Footloose” music video, all signed by Bailey. The TikTok challenge encouraging people to film themselves dancing reflects Pepsi’s ethos of “unapologetic enjoyment” and expression through music and dance, Kaplan said.
Marketing efforts that capitalize on consumers’ nostalgia have been on the rise since 2021, and Pepsi is certainly no stranger to campaigns that celebrate the past. Earlier this year, the company challenged consumers to submit photos of themselves from the ‘90s to win several bottles of the brand’s short-lived Crystal Pepsi, which first hit shelves in 1992.
The limited-edition Soda Shop products will be on store shelves for the next 12 weeks.