Pepsi not advertising in Super Bowl next year

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Pepsi not advertising in Super Bowl next year

By EMILY FREDRIX
AP Marketing Writer

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Pepsi’s Super Bowl streak is over after a
23-year run.

Ads for the drinks won’t appear in next year’s Super Bowl on
CBS. Instead, the company plans to shift ad dollars to a new
marketing effort that’s mostly online.

Pepsi was one of the biggest advertisers in this year’s game and
has advertised every year since 1987. Frito-Lay, a unit of
parent company PepsiCo Inc., will still have Super Bowl
commercials in the 2010 game.

The company, which is based in Purchase, N.Y., spent $33 million
advertising products like Pepsi, Gatorade, and Cheetos during
the 2009 Super Bowl, according to TNS Media Intelligence, $15
million of it on Pepsi alone. Ad time for the NFL championship
game cost about $3 million for 30 seconds, on average.

Those prices may have dipped to as low as $2.5 million per 30
seconds for the 2010 game, according to Jon Swallen, senior vice
president of research for TNS Media Intelligence. Final figures
won’t be known until after the game, which takes place Feb. 7
and airs on CBS. The network said last week it has sold about 90
percent of the game’s commercial time.

Shipper FedEx also said Thursday it will not advertise again in
the Super Bowl due to costs, the same reason the company gave
for sitting it out last time around.

Pepsi had been a major advertiser during the Super Bowl.
According to TNS, the company spent $142.8 million on the 10
Super Bowl ads from 1999 to 2008, second only to Anheuser-Busch,
which spent $216 million. The brewer of Bud Light confirmed
Thursday it will have 5 minutes worth of advertising in the 2010
Super Bowl.

Pepsi recognizes Super Bowl ads can be effective for marketing,
spokeswoman Nicole Bradley said, but the game doesn’t work with
the company’s goals next year.

“In 2010, each of our beverage brands has a strategy and
marketing platform that will be less about a singular event and
more about a movement,” she said.

Notable Super Bowl ads from Pepsi over the years have included
celebrities such as Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears and
Will.i.am.

The nation’s second-biggest soft drink maker is plowing
marketing dollars into its “Pepsi Refresh Project” starting next
month as its main vehicle for Pepsi. The project will pay at
least $20 million for projects people create to “refresh”
communities.

A Web site will go live Jan. 13 where people can list their
projects, which could range from helping to feed people to
teaching children to read. People can vote starting Feb. 1 to
determine which projects receive money.

Pepsi estimates the effort will fund thousands of projects and
says other businesses will pledge money, too.

The company does plan to hold events related to its new effort
at the Super Bowl.

Pepsi’s move leaves the Super Bowl soft-drink field open for
rival Coca-Cola Co., which has been widely reported to be
advertising this year, though Coca-Cola declined to comment. The
world’s biggest soft drink maker was the eighth-highest spender
on Super Bowl ads from 1999 to 2008. It spent $30.5 million on
two Super Bowls within that decade.

Most advertisers on the Super Bowl do not have as long a history
as Pepsi, Swallen said, averaging three to four years in a row
before dropping out. They will often cycle back in, though,
because it is a rare chance to reach such a wide audience. The
2009 matchup between Arizona and Pittsburgh attracted 95.4
million people.

“It is arguably the one TV programming event of the year where
people tune in as much for the commercials as they do for the
game that’s being played on the field,” he said.

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