UPDATE: After this post went live, Pepsi told us that the review in question did not concern the parent brand. Multiple sources then confirmed that TBWA has won lead creative duties for Izze, the sparkling soda company acquired by Pepsi in 2006. The business is based in Boulder, Colorado, and local agency TDA_Boulder played a role in its launch a decade ago.
Reliable sources tell us this week that the New York offices of TBWA\Chiat\Day recently won a creative review for work related to Pepsi or one of its various brands.
PepsiCo did not announce this review, but the company has made some recent changes to its agency lineup. Last September, former AOR BBDO rekindled its relationship with the main Pepsi brand by way of a spot starring unlikely spokesperson and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. This was BBDO’s first work for the parent brand in 7 years since TBWA won lead creative duties in a 2008 review, and it arrived before the agency won Tropicana.
Last month, Pepsi also named VML as the new AOR for its Brisk Tea line, which had previously been with The Barbarian Group. (As we understand it, the latter agency will continue to play some role on the Brisk account for the immediate future.) In May, the soft drink giant announced the opening of its own “state of the art content studio” in Manhattan.
A TBWA spokesperson declined to comment for this post, and PepsiCo’s PR department did not respond to multiple email queries and phone calls earlier this week.
For that reason, the scope of the TBWA win and the nature of the work it will eventually produce is not clear at this time. But we did learn of the win from a party with direct knowledge of the matter. We also hear that Erik Vervroegen, the former Publicis Groupe international CCO who became global head of art for the TBWA network last month, has begun hiring creatives to work on the business. Vervroegen and former TBWA South Africa colleague/current global creative president Chris Garbutt will supposedly collaborate on the account and related staffing efforts in the New York office.
Pepsi’s recent advertising efforts for its main brand (which, again, was not involved in this review) have been nostalgic: The company brought Crystal Pepsi back from the dead with Barbarian Group’s help last year. It also revisited the classic 1992 BBDO Cindy Crawford ad in a recent Millennial reboot and ran some emoji-focused spots earlier this year with the help of its various global agency partners.