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PepsiCo, Super Bowl go together

Despite economy, beverage giant plans to advertise its products during Sunday’s festivities.

NEW YORK — PepsiCo, traditionally one of the top spenders on Super Bowl ads, plans to keep spending in this year of economic malaise.

Executives unveiled a 3-D commercial for its SoBe Life Water on Tuesday that will air at halftime, and other Super Bowl spots are planned for Pepsi, Gatorade and PepsiMax.

PepsiCo’s total spending is undecided for Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIII, a contest between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers to be played in Tampa, Fla.

“We might add some more time,” PepsiCo Americas Beverages chief Massimo D’Amore said.

NBC has said 90 percent of the Super Bowl ads were sold as of mid-January. Most ads have sold for about $3 million per 30-second spot — an all-time high price for the Super Bowl. The yearly matchup is the most watched event in the nation, with about 100 million U.S. viewers.

PepsiCo Inc. was the event’s top advertiser last year, according to estimates by TNS Media, and most likely will again be in the top three.

The yearly Super Bowl ads coincide with a new marketing campaign from the Purchase, N.Y.-based maker of snacks and drinks. And it comes a week after PepsiCo’s bigger rival, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., announced a new global marketing campaign. The dueling ad campaigns use words like “happiness” and “optimism” to appeal to consumers besieged by financial trouble.

For its part, PepsiCo unveiled a whole new logo — its 10th change ever — and new packaging for all brands. For example, its orange juice brand, Tropicana, now features a glass of orange juice instead of an orange with a straw in it.

Executives liken the new logo — a circle enclosing curved bands of red, white and blue — to a smile.

Bloggers, on the other hand, say it is a rip-off of President Barack Obama’s campaign logo.

“We’re not sure who followed whom,” said Frank Cooper, a vice president of brands at PepsiCo’s Americas Beverages. “We’re about a smile, not a frontier.”

The Super Bowl has long been a marketing focus for the company, but this year’s focus on beverages is a change. Last year, it used one spot on Doritos, a product of its Frito-Lay snacks business.

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