Pepsi Abducts the Super Bowl Spotlight With Alien-Inspired Ad Introducing Its Halftime Show

Campaign tallied 54 million views before game even began

While most brands began activating their Super Bowl campaigns over the past month, Pepsi's Hyped for Halftime plans began last Thanksgiving.

Using the #halftime hashtag, the brand curated conversations around its show with more than 40 pieces of digital content. And, right before Katy Perry's performance, the campaign will culminate in an alien abduction-themed 30-second spot (which was created by agency Mekanism) airing right before the show and paying homage to the supernatural lore of the Southwest.

"For Pepsi, it's really about owning the halftime conversation for months ahead of the 12-minute performance at the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show," said Linda Lagos, digital director for Pepsi.

So far, the 2015 content has garnered more than 54 million views and 1 billion media impressions, Pepsi reports. Eighty-three percent of conversations around #halftime online have been related to its show so far this year, compared to only 1 percent last year, the brand says.

Pepsi also sponsored the 2014 halftime show, but its campaign that year only began in January. For the 2015 performance, the brand started things a few months earlier and tripled the amount of materials it released compared to the previous year.

Content ranged from a commercial featuring Blake Shelton giving a surprise concert on an aircraft carrier for military veterans (see below) to offline activations like a crop circle of the Pepsi logo that is visible when flying over the Phoenix area. Its Super Bowl ad, which was created by the team that produced the film Gravity, features 23 Pepsi logos without mentioning the brand name out loud.

Credits for Halftime Touches Down:

​​Agency: Mekanism
Executive Creative Director/Director: Tommy Means
CEO/President: Jason Harris
ACD: Joe Beutel
Copywriter: Ryan Paulson
Head of Production: Kati Haberstock
Snr. Brand Manager: Claire Fallon

Production Company: Framestore
Director: Ben West
Executive Producer ​s​ : John Duffin & James Razzall
Producer: Skot Bright
VFX Producer: James Alexander
VFX Supervisor: Chris Eckardt
DP: John Schwartzman
Propmaster: Bella Serrell
Lead Flame: Alex Thomas

Editorial Company: Whitehouse Post
Producer: Evan Cunningham
Editor: Lucas Spaulding
Executive Producer: Joni Williamson

Original Score: Travis & Maude
Executive Producer: Kala Sherman
Creative Director: David Wittman

Audio Mix: Eleven Sound
Executive Producer: Suzanne Hollingshead