Pepsi is returning to the Super Bowl with a splash. The cola brand, which sat out this year's game in favor of its "Pepsi Refresh" project, today announced plans to advertise during Super Bowl 2011 with sibling brand Doritos. Doritos, once again, is running its "Crash the Super Bowl" ad contest, which asks consumers to create their own spots. But this year, the snack brand is upping the number of submissions to six: Three for Doritos and three for Pepsi Max. Parent company PepsiCo will air the top four spots—voted by the American public—during the game on Feb. 6. Doritos and Pepsi Max teams will pick one each as well. PepsiCo is also capitalizing on the fame of Betty White—the star of last year’s top-ranked Snickers Super Bowl ad—who was tapped by the cola giant to inspire consumers in their Super Bowl submissions. In yet another indication that both brands really have their eyes set on top ad honors, creative directors Jeff Goodby of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (Doritos’ lead agency) and Rob Schwartz from TBWA\Chiat\Day (which handles advertising for Pepsi Max) are also offering tips—via a live webcast today—on how to create “breakthrough” Super Bowl spots. In an interview with Brandweek, PepsiCo 's Jill Beraud, CMO of beverages, and Ann Mukherjee, CMO of Frito-Lay, discussed why the company is upping the ante for the Super Bowl and how consumer-generated content is becoming a bigger part of marketing efforts.
Brandweek: Pepsi is returning to the Super Bowl in 2011 with sibling brand Doritos. What inspired this? And why Pepsi Max?
Ann Mukherjee (pictured left): This will be the fifth year that we run our "Doritos Crash the Super Bowl" contest, and we’ve seen such consumer engagement in this program for the past four years.
You look at the young millennial who is really looking for their voice to be heard. They want to have a practical say in the brand, to be discovered and to have their dreams come true. That’s why we thought [Pepsi Max] was a good fit.
Jill Beraud (pictured right): Pepsi Max is a critical strategic priority for us this coming year. Being on the Super Bowl is a tremendous platform to be able to communicate our zero-calorie message to hundreds of millions of people.
BW: Are Pepsi Max and Doritos making a one-time guest appearance, or will these two brands team up for future campaigns?
AM: This will not be the only time you will see Doritos and Pepsi together. This isn’t a one-hit wonder. It’s part of our new consumer engagement model, and you will see, through 2011, our brands continue to engage with other brands in Pepsi’s portfolio. It speaks to the power of bringing our two organizations together.
BW: Can you elaborate a bit more on that new model of “consumer engagement?”
AM: It’s part of our new consumer engagement model of co-creation. We have just found, across many of our brands—Mountain Dew, Pepsi Refresh—this whole notion of co-creation—and product ideation, in general—has been a tremendous success for the portfolio in terms of driving consumer engagement and loyalty.
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