Announcing! Brandweek is headed to Phoenix, Arizona this September 23–26. Join us there to explore the future of marketing, discover cutting-edge strategies and network with the best in the business.
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.
Chief creative officer: Margaret Johnson
Executive creative directors: Matthew Edwards, Wesley Phelan
Associate creative directors: Anthony DiMichele, Jen Hart
Design director: Tana Cieciora
Managing partner: Brian McPherson
Group account director: Becca Morris
Account director: Jena Verlin Windmueller
Account manager: Aimee Fung
Assistant account manager: Elizabeth Gordon
Brand and Communication Strategy
Partner, head of brand strategy: Bonnie Wan
Partner, head of communication strategy: Christine Chen
Strategy director: Nik Poon
Communications strategist: Charlotte Cordova
Director of production: Jim Haight
Senior producer: Kateri McLucas
Director of business affairs: Judy Ybarra
Business affairs manager: Howie Mapson
Production company city: New York
Director: Jim Jenkins
Director of photography: Matthew Libatique
Executive producer: Ralph Laucella
EP/producer: Marc Grill
Editing company city: Los Angeles
Editor: Nick Rondeau
Assistant editor: Brad Dupuie
Managing director: Adam Becht
Executive producer: Britt Carson
Senior producer: Katy Lester Zamora
Audio and Sound Design Company
Sound design company city: New York
Sound designers/mix engineers: Steve Rosen, Owen Shearer, Kelly Oostman
Mix assistant: Carly Morgan
Studio director: Justine Cortale
VFX supervisor: Nathan Kane
Creative leads: Dan Fine, Kay Khanna
Creative team: Taner Besen, Dhruv Shankar, Franz Kol, Seon Crawford, Michael Marsek, Cesar Zambelli, Juan ‘JZ’ Zavala, Steve Beck, Martin Gunnarsson, Gianluca DiMarco, Nathan Mckenna, Sue Jang, Ashley Thomas
Production team: Anna Kravtsov, Caroline Goujard
Company name: Royal Muster
Color grade: Roslyn Di Sisto