When Arby’s received a friendly reminder in October that they had yet to release the second of their promised ads featuring Pepsi they realized they had a problem. The brand and its agency, Fallon, had already wrapped on their creative for the rest of the year.
Rob Lynch, chief marketing officer and brand president of Arby’s, explained to The Wall Street Journal that with the brand focusing on its revamped marketing, centered around the “We have the meats” tagline, the obligations to Pepsi simply got forgotten. Lynch did not look forward to breaking the news to Fallon. “Their ads are kind of like their babies. To go in after we shot them and shoehorn something in is like the worst client move you could ever make,” he told The Wall Street Journal.
But Fallon proved up to the challenge. The Minneapolis-based agency created a new, 30-second ad poking fun at the whole debacle. A tall glass of Pepsi stays on camera for the entire ad as the sonorous Ving Rhames explains the situation: “Arby’s has an agreement to feature their good friend Pepsi in two commercials a year…Well Arby’s messed up and forgot about the second commercial!” In a clever touch, the ad ends by replacing the usual “We have the meats” tagline with “We have Pepsi.” So what did Pepsi think of the approach?
“We applaud Arby’s unconventional approach to marketing and when they came to us with this idea, we thought it would be a fun, creative way to highlight our partnership,” Roberto Rios, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo’s food service division, told The Wall Street Journal in an emailed statement.
So it seems like everyone is happy with the situation. The spot will run from December 7th-13th in the Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles markets, fulfilling Arby’s end of their agreement with Pepsi to feature the beverage in two advertisements this year. Presumably the creative Fallon had to put on hold for the ad will run in the near future.