Pepsi Seeks Edge With Ad Launch

NEW YORK Pepsi will launch its mid-calorie Pepsi Edge this weekend with ads during the Pepsi 400 auto race on Fox. The debut comes a month after Coca-Cola rolled out its new C2 beverage and a month before PepsiCo planned to unveil its own offering.

Efforts to get the reduced calorie soft drink to market were heightened thanks to pressure from Coke’s C2, which broke its campaign during the finale of American Idol.

The initial two Pepsi Edge TV spots, via Omnicom’s BBDO in New York, target men by adding humor to everyday situations. ESPN’s Stuart Scott and NFL Network’s Rich Eisen offer color commentary in one ad as a man remembers to put down the toilet seat. In another, Scrubs star Donald Faison struggles to open a pickle jar. Tag: “This moment deserves a Pepsi Edge.”

Print ads follow a similar sarcastic theme by praising consumers for matching their socks and turning on a self-cleaning oven.

Dave Burwick, Pepsi-Cola North America chief marketing officer, said in a statement, “Now you can reward yourself for even the smallest achievement. If you’re interested in reducing calorie intake, you don’t have to sacrifice great taste to get there.”

Ad spending on Pepsi Edge was not disclosed. The client spent about $30 million on its last two major product launches: Pepsi Vanilla (2003) and Pepsi Blue (2002). Coke will spend approximately $50 million on ads for C2.