Pepsi launches commercial with star of Super Bowl halftime show The Weeknd


The Weeknd in Pepsi’s “Get Ready” ad.


Pepsi’s halftime show could star as The Weeknd, but the company is hoping its new campaign will generate some buzz for the show all month long.

Beverage brand PepsiCo is replacing its traditional Super Bowl ad space with a new campaign to lead to its halftime show featuring the musician.

Pepsi, which will sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show for the tenth year, said it was the first time the company has showcased its halftime show talent in an advertisement on the show. The campaign will begin with an ad during the NFL playoff games this weekend.

“Brands always fall on their own to get a 30 [second spot] and do something fun on social media and try to log in and get through it, ”Todd Kaplan, Pepsi vice president of marketing, told CNBC in an interview.

For businesses, the game represents a rare opportunity to capture the nation’s attention at once, an even rarer opportunity after a year that has seen countless live events canceled, delayed or otherwise affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies such as M & M’s, Pringles, Toyota and TurboTax have previously said they advertise during the game. But this year’s event will be unlike any other for brands, who will need to find the right tone in their marketing as the pandemic rages and political tensions potentially subside following the presidential transition.

Kaplan said the company is taking an optimistic approach with its own advertising. The place features people restocking grocery store shelves, drying their hair, cleaning their pools and doing other solo activities while dancing or listening to “Blinding Lights” from The Weeknd, released in 2019 and no. 1 from Billboard. Hot 100 song of the year “in 2020.

“I think if consumers are now really looking for optimism and some sort of escape, you know, given what everyone’s been going through,” Kaplan said. “I think no matter what the nation is going through … people love music. It’s a little bit of escape, and just fun in everyday life, showing those everyday moments.”

Pepsi’s campaign will include the TV spot, a digital push, and packaging of 500 million bottles and cans with a QR code that will lead to a website with branded content and augmented reality experiences. It will also have retail promotions with displays in stores such as Kroger, Target, 7-Eleven, Dollar General.

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