Nothing says summer quite like a happening beach party, a cold drink and . . . Santa Claus? In its first new Pepsi ad campaign in three years, PepsiCo is using a new "celebrity" spokesperson to put the spotlight back on its signature cola, a brand it's mostly ignored recently as it shifted focus to "healthier" products.
The new "Summer Time Is Pepsi Time" campaign from TBWA\Chiat\Day opens with a raucous crowd dancing to Montell Jordan's not-so-current classic "This Is How We Do It." And there in the middle of the hubbub, clear as day, are the unmistakable Santa and his wife, Mrs. Claus, plus a couple of trusty elves, breaking it down in their summer finest.
Santa goes to the tiki hut to snag some sodas, and the bartender offers him a pair of Coca-Colas—a natural assumption, given the big man's past preferences. But wait, he wants Pepsi! The bartender is confused, having surely been barraged by a lifetime's worth of famous Coke Christmas campaigns starring jolly old Saint Nick. "I thought you had a deal with . . . you know," he says, without actually mentioning the competing cola maker by name (and given the ubiquity of their ads, he doesn't have to).
But it's the summer, and Santa just wants to cut loose. (And apparently, he only drinks Coke out of legal obligation.) "I'm on vacation! I'm going to have a little fun!" he says conspiratorially (better hope he doesn't get sued for breach of contract!) before taking a big swig of the Pepsi. This earns some major approval from the elves, who must have really gotten screwed in that last Coke deal.
Spot: "Santa Dancing"
Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
Chief Creative Officer: Rob Schwartz
Group Creative Director: Brett Craig
Creative Director: Xanthe Hohalek
Art Director: Chris MacNeil
Copywriter: Michelle Lewis
Producer: Lacy Plunk
Production Company: Pytka
Director: Joe Pytka
Editorial Company: Union Editorial
Music: Montell Jordan, "This is How We Do It"