- Pepsi is running a series of activations in Las Vegas in support of a new Wild Cherry campaign and as the soft drink marketer stokes anticipation for Super Bowl LVIII, according to a press release.
- The brand enlisted Zach King, a creator known for his sleight-of-hand tricks, as part of a takeover of the Sphere, melding the massive outdoor venue with clever video editing. Pepsi is also working with Khaby Lame, the most popular TikToker, for on-the-ground experiences and social content in the ramp-up to the big game on Feb. 11.
- Pepsi at the same time is catering to people who prefer a low-key night in through a Wild Cherry Hotline that fans in select cities can message for the chance to win products like a branded robe. The strategy aligns with the campaign’s focus on millennials who have changing perceptions of what qualifies as “wild” as they get older.
Pepsi is appealing to two extremes of football fandom as it looks to build momentum heading into Super Bowl LVIII and juice up its Wild Cherry variant. On the one hand, the brand is embracing the “wild” reputation of Vegas through outsized activations, including a Sphere takeover and partnerships with top social media stars. On the other, Pepsi Wild Cherry’s new “Get Wild” campaign is targeted at aging millennials who maybe don’t have the energy for a trip to the Strip — or even a Super Bowl party — anymore, hence a hotline rewarding people who are tuning into the match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers from the comfort of their home.
Other marketers are taking advantage of Vegas’ glitz and glam image through culinary experiences and even a tech developer-style conference around Super Bowl weekend. Pepsi has gotten a jump on interest in the Sphere through the work with King, whose elaborately staged videos are meant to feel like a Vegas magic show translated to the TikTok era. In new ads running on King and Pepsi’s social channels, the creator uses perspective tricks and clever editing to take a sip from the top of the Sphere, draining it of soda, and drop brightly colored cherries into the dome-like venue that has become a magnet for advertisers.
PepsiCo earlier this week struck a deal to become an official partner of the Sphere, providing food and beverages at concession stands and opening fresh opportunities to be featured on the Exosphere, the glittering, LED-lit shell of the building that doubles as a skyline-dominating billboard. The pact expands PepsiCo’s existing relationship with the MSG Family of Companies.
Top TikToker Lame will also attend his first Super Bowl courtesy of Pepsi, with plans to meet with the Pepsi Rookie of the Year winner, tailgate with Guy Fieri and hang out with Shaquille O’Neal at a branded diner. Lame, whose silent reaction videos and signature shrug have led to viral fame, previously starred in a campaign for Pepsi’s Nitro cola.
Those steering clear of crowds in Vegas, Kansas City and San Francisco around the Super Bowl can text “WILDNIGHTIN” to the Wild Cherry Hotline at (844) 833-9215. The first 58 qualifying participants will secure a Wild Cherry robe, a 2-liter bottle of Wild Cherry and other ingredients needed to make a sundae with the flavored cola.