Aubrey Plaza Swears She's Having a Good Time in Mountain Dew Baja Blast Super Bowl Ad

The brand's first Big Game spot also gets a boost from fellow Parks and Recreation alum Nick Offerman

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For the first Super Bowl ad in Mountain Dew Baja Blast history, PepsiCo brought in Aubrey Plaza and her former Parks and Recreation costar Nick Offerman to try to contain their enthusiasm.

Earlier this year, PepsiCo announced that Mountain Dew Baja Blast—a favorite of Chalupa-stockpiling, Nacho Fry-chasing, Crunchwrap-decimating Taco Bell patrons for the past two decades—would be available in bottles and cans for the first time. That merited an extraordinarily wry ad for Super Bowl 58—created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners—that only White Lotus and Emily the Criminal star Plaza could deliver.

While being battered with pool noodles by children, abducted by aliens, trapped in an elevator, attacked by online gamers, frog splashed by wrestlers, heavily sequined in a nightclub and tucked away in a suburban storm drain like a demon clown, Plaza maintains her monotone and her bottle of Blast. Only astride a flying, Game of Thrones-style dragon—next to one piloted by Offerman—does she acknowledge the blast she’s having by rearing back and offering a cackle just before her beast sets fire to a village.

The 30-second commercial is slated to run during the Big Game’s first quarter and adds to the growing roster of celebrities appearing in Super Bowl commercials this year. According to television advertising data and analytics platform EDO, Big Game spots featuring celebrities have outperformed those without by 25% over the past three years.

Data and analytics company System1 noted that 62% of Super Bowl ads during the past four years have included celebrities. This strategy has increased short-term sales and brand recognition, but it has struggled to produce long-term results. 

“Almost 20% of viewers leave Super Bowl ads not being able to recall what brand the ad was for,” said Jon Evans, System1’s chief customer officer. “This is causing serious wastage.”

System1 notes that the use of a fluent device—either a character or slogan specific to the brand—tends to have a greater impact than a celebrity alone. “Having a Blast” is a step in that direction, but PepsiCo is starting to blend both celebrities and mascots into a potent marketing mix.

The Mountain Dew Baja Blast spot is just one of three Super Bowl ads from PepsiCo, with Starry also making its Super Bowl debut by pairing Ice Spice with fawning mascots Lem and Lime, while Jenna Ortega and Danny Ramirez face the wizened, well-dressed wrath of Doritos Dinamita fans Dina and Mita.

Mountain Dew as a larger brand has been absent from the game since 2021, when its Major Melon bottle-counting contest ranked No. 48 on the USA Today Ad Meter. A Shining-themed Mountain Dew Zero Sugar ad placed No. 19 in 2019, while Mountain Dew Kickstart’s 2016 viral magnum opus, Puppy Monkey Baby—the first Mountain Dew Super Bowl ad since 2000—landed at No. 55

For the latest Super Bowl 58 advertising news—who’s in, who’s out, teasers, full ads and more—check out Adweek’s Super Bowl 2024 Ad Tracker and the rest of our stories here. And join us on the evening of Feb. 11 for the best in-game coverage of the commercials.




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