In the years before Anheuser-Busch and Doritos began regularly topping USA Today's annual Ad Meter rankings of Super Bowl spots, Pepsi was a regular contender. In Super Bowl XXX, it pulled off a trifecta, winning first, second and third place in the Ad Meter popularity contest. The overall winner was "Security Camera," created like the rest by Omnicom's BBDO New York, depicting a driver for Coca-Cola doing what he shouldn't, to a soundtrack of Hank Williams Jr.'s "Your Cheatin' Heart."
Humor could work wonders as other advertisers increasingly relied on spectacle, USA Today reported on Jan. 30, 1996:
That's why adman Cliff Freeman, best-known for creating the nutty Little Caesars "Pizza, Pizza" spots, was impressed by Pepsi's top-rated "Security Camera" spot. "There was humanity there," he says. "It was simple and real."
Pepsi and BBDO's ad, directed by Super Bowl legend Joe Pytka, wasn't the first to explore soda-war transgression; it followed a Pepsi/BBDO/Pytka spot from the game a year earlier mining the same theme ("Diner"). But "Security Camera" held up so well that 20 years later USA Today's 2006 panelists chose it as the best of the Ad Meter winners thus far. Pepsi Max and Pytka would return to the scene in the 2012 Super Bowl spot "Check Out."
Second place on the Ad Meter went to "Frozen Tundra," and third to an ad pitting Deion Sanders against Wile E. Coyote.
BBDO continued to handle brand Pepsi all the way through 2008.Send credit info to [email protected].