Coke vs. Pepsi. An ongoing debate that isn’t really a debate. Sure, there are geographic areas more inclined to Pepsi and those more inclined to Coke, but I’ve had the privilege of living on the East and West coasts and the Midwest and Coke rains supreme. Pepsi, it appears, knows that, so the narrative of their most recent commercial wasn’t simply about grabbing a Pepsi, instead diving into the stigma that surrounds ordering a Pepsi.
On Super Bowl Sunday, with help from Cardi B and Lil’ Jon, Steve Carell attempts to put an end to a question you’ve likely heard before. You order your Coke like any other meal and the waiter asks “Is Pepsi Ok?” to which you say yes. What Steve Carell and company attacked was that central question. Lil’ Jon and Cardi B, who had a field day at the Grammy’s with her Best Rap Album win, provide light, colorful interpretations of those two simple letters – ok. Carell, taking point, explains that Pepsi is more than ok, using a list of metaphors including puppies and shooting stars to drive home the point that Pepsi is more than just ok. This quick commercial had as much energy as any seen during the SB LIII and, for those just as interested in the commercials as the game itself, seemed to provide a spark in an otherwise underwhelming performance.
As a major Super Bowl sponsor, Pepsi perfectly responded to finding themselves in Atlanta, the heart of enemy territory. Instead of setting out to convert the Atlanta market to Pepsi lovers, they set out to change the framing around Pepsi and potentially change the way the drink is looked at by consumers. Not only was this a great idea that fit the situation Pepsi was in, but it was executed extremely well to create one of the better commercials from Super Bowl LIII. Only time will tell if Pepsi’s commercial had the intended impact or not, but it certainly garnered more than its fair share of attention last Sunday Night.
Check out the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sYElEbRzKA