Pepsi a no go for this year's Super Bowl

Is this a hint of things to come? After more than two decades of Super Bowl ads, softdrink giant Pepsi is pulling out and shifting its marketing thrust online. According to the Wall Street Journal:

To implement its new strategy, Pepsi, based in Purchase, N.Y., will plunge into the crowded field of cause-related marketing in coming weeks with a campaign to kick off "Pepsi Refresh Project." Under the program, Pepsi will award grant money for community projects proposed and selected by consumers, such as helping high-school students publish books to develop their writing skills. Pepsi says it has earmarked $20 million of its ad dollars for the grants next year.

The company is hoping the new campaign will help reinvigorate sales of some of its top North American beverage brands. Pepsi's namesake brand saw its volume decline 7.3% from a year earlier in the first nine months of 2009, steeper than the 2.3% drop in volume for the soft-drink industry overall, according to Beverage Digest, an industry publication and data service. Coke's volume was down 6.6% over the same period.

A few memorable Pepsi Super Bowl ads after the jump:

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