Pepsi scores big with Super Bowl commercials

Published 2:01 pm Wednesday, February 4, 2009

By By Adam Prestridge
Pepsi-Cola executives down to delivery drivers should pop a top to a well-planned and well-received ad campaign debuted Sunday night during Super Bowl XLIII
Numerous large corporate companies promoting mostly household products ranging from soft drinks to dog food spent millions of dollars “selling” their products to the millions tuned in to watch Pittsburgh and Arizona duke it out on the gridiron. Each 30-second spot reportedly cost $3 million.
Of the 50 new commercials, in the eyes of this journalist, Pepsi-Cola takes home the prize for the most creative and effective ad campaign. The soft drink company’s campaign was funny, eye catching and, most of all, memorable.
Taking the top spot was Pepsi’s “I’m good” commercial for its newest product, Pepsi Max. The 30-second spot made me laugh out loud, which is a hard thing to do, and thanks to DVR, I rewound it numerous times for another laugh.
The commercial opens with a man cutting a 2×4 with a table saw. Unexpectedly, the piece of wood becomes a projectile and shoots across the garage into his friend’s back. The next scene shows a golfer who swings hitting a fellow golfer in the back of the head and the face as he follows through. Scene three features a man handing his friend a bowling ball bag, which rips from the bottom sending the bowling ball crashing down on top of another friend’s head who was bent down tying his shoe. The fourth scene begins with a man yelling “I’m the man,” while hanging out of the sunroof of a limousine before he is slammed back into the vehicle after his head hits the entrance of a parking deck. The final scene features a man working on the lights on a ladder outside of his house when he friends misunderstand that he is finished working and cut the power back on, which sends him flying across the yard before crashing into an enclosed trailer.
Each scene was humorous and kept the audience wondering what was actually being promoted, which in turn kept everyone tuned in. After each “accident” the men simply said, “I’m good.”
The commercial ended with the tag line, “Men can take anything, except the taste of diet cola, until now. Pepsi Max, the first diet cola for men.”
Pepsi also featured its “McGruber” commercial, a spoof of the 1985 television series MacGyver starring Richard Dean Anderson. It encourages Pepsi drinkers to “take a chill, crack a Pepsi and refresh everything,” as a character pretended to defuse a bomb with household materials as did the star of the seven-season series who was also featured in the commercial. The commercial character later changed his name to “PepSuber,” after it is discovered that Pepsi sponsors him. The one-minute commercial cost the soft drink company $6 million.
Another personal favorite, which I’ll rank second on my Top 3 list, was the Doritos commercial everyone has been raving about. Although it didn’t take top spot on my list, it was a laugher.
The commercial opens when one coworker asks another what he has in his hand. The guy answers, “It’s my crystal ball” and other replies, “It looks like a snow globe.” To prove his point, the guy looks down and asks the crystal ball, “Free Doritos at the office today?” And with a devilish grin turns and throws the ball into the glass of a vending machine in the background. As the glass shatters and co-workers begin taking bags of the chips, he says, “I think that’s a yes!”
The commercial ends with the curious coworker with his own ball and asks, “Will I finally get that big promotion?” He turns and hurls the snow globe into a doorway, but at the same time his boss walks through it and the globe hits him. The main character pops in and says, “Promotion? Not in your future.”
Bridgestone, the Super Bowl’s main sponsor, had the third best ad in my opinion. It featured Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head quickly cruising in a convertible on a winding road on a mountainside. Mrs. Potato Head continues to scold her husband telling him to, “Slow down, slow down. What’s the hurry? You’re driving like a maniac. Are you listening? Are you listening? I can’t stand it when you ignore me.” Mr. Potato Head continues to drive, ignoring his spud of a wife and gives her “the look.” About that time, he runs up on a herd of sheep, slams on the breaks and Mrs. Potato Head’s mouth, still complaining, pops out and rolls down the steep mountain. Unable to talk, she reaches up, pulls out her eyes and puts on her angry eyes.
The commercial ends with the tagline, “For drivers who want to get the most out of their cars, its Bridgestone or nothing.” A smiling Mr. Potato Head drives off in silence.
Other favorites include the Bud Light “corporate cutbacks,” Castrol Edge “grease monkey’s,” Doritos “crunch,” Pedigree “adoption,” Budweiser “dancing horse and circus” and the Cheetos “pigeon attack.”
Although the Super Bowl did not turnout the way I wanted it to, with the Steelers squeaking out a 27-23 victory over the Cardinals, the commercials proved to be entertaining.
Adam Prestridge is publisher of The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.

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