It came as a total surprise to me. With about three minutes to play in the fourth quarter of last night's Super Bowl, the Pepsi ad flashed on my screen. There I was. I. Just me. Alyssa and Grace, my two lovely teen twins who took a day off from school to film the commercial, were nowhere to be seen. At least on TV. They were sitting next to me when the ad aired. Needless to say, they were a little taken aback.
It turns out this blog and my public spat with the team has "twisted my image," as super agent Jack Perry said to me the morning. In Pepsi's eyes, that's not a bad thing. The ad was originally supposed to air in two more weeks, right after pitchers and catchers reported. But, as Jack revisted with me, Pepsi thinks I've got an "edge" now. I was the equivalent of Miss America, Jack said, for so long. It's fresh to see me ranting here. It's edgy to see me taking on my team instead of taking one for them. They think I've become an individual, a voice for their target demographic, which is slightly younger than me (by about 20 years). I've become an icon.
Tell that to my kids. Well, I did. They don't really care what other people think of their dear old papa (they've never called me that). They wanted to be in a commercial for Pepsi, ahem, Lipton Brisk (owned by Pepsi). That's another thing. We filmed a Lipton Brisk commercial. But you saw me and Pepsi during the Super Bowl. It appears they not only digitized my kids out, they digitized out their own brand and replaced it with another, albeit a bigger-name brand, one I had been led to believe I was endorsing all along. Endorsement complete. I'm a Pepsi guy again. Edgy. Cool. Twisted. Just what today's youth wants.
I hope my team wants me half as bad.