- PepsiCo announced that it will run a joint 60-second in-game Super Bowl spot for its new products Doritos Blaze and Mtn Dew Ice. This marks the first time a single company has advertised two of its trademarked products back-to-back around a nationally-televised Super Bowl broadcast in this way, according to a news release.
- The ad depicts a showdown between the actors Peter Dinklage, repping the Doritos brand, and Morgan Freeman for Mountain Dew. PepsiCo released a teaser for the ad on YouTube and the Doritos and Mountain Dew social media channels, where fans can follow the conversation leading up to the Super Bowl.
- Doritos and Mountain Dew are returning as Super Bowl advertisers after taking last year off. During Super Bowl 50 in 2016, Doritos bookended it's 10-year-running "Crash the Super Bowl" initiative, which sourced content from independent filmmakers and creators, and Mountain Dew ran a "Puppymonkeybaby" spot that became a headline-grabbing sensation for its distinctly weird titular creation.
PepsiCo is aiming for a more innovative Super Bowl strategy this year by doubling up on the brands advertised. The approach points to how marketers might be trying to wring more bang for their buck out of the big game by marketing the company brand as a whole instead of dedicating shorter spots to a variety of individual products and brands. The creative leans into the competitive spirit of the sport itself by pitting Doritos and Mountain Dew against each other, though how that will play out with the rivalry between Dinklage and Freeman remains to be seen.
The hefty price tags of Super Bowl ad spots — which cost around $5 million for 30 seconds of airtime — combined with declining NFL ratings have led several brands to break with traditional approaches to their in-game advertising. Overall viewership for NFL playoff games fell 16% this season compared to the same period last year, according to Nielsen data cited in Ad Age.
That's not to say blockbuster single product commercials are a thing of the past, least of all for PepsiCo. Its soft drink brand Pepsi is running a nostalgia-tinged reboot of its iconic 1992 Super Bowl spot starring Cindy Crawford. The 30-second ad will feature Crawford and her son. Pepsi is also the sponsor of the Super Bowl LII halftime show with Justin Timberlake, which fans can live stream on social media and interact with via the hashtag #PepsiHalftimeLive.
PepsiCo also ran its "Game Day Grub Match" digital video cooking competition again this year, this time with retired NFL players in the kitchen. Tostitos, part of the company's Frito-Lay portfolio, is not running a Super Bowl TV spot but did launch a video creation platform this week called Super Bowl Ads for All that generates personalized viewing party invites emceed by Alfonso Ribeiro.