Coca-Cola and Pepsi Take Markedly Different Advertising Approaches for Super Bowl LII

Coke – The Wonder of Us – Big Game 2018 – Ad Screenshot (1)

Beverage company, Coca-Cola, is getting into the Super Bowl LII mix by focusing on themes fans will see in advertisements during the big game, diversity and inclusion, while Pepsico is paying homage to the brand’s pop culture history.

With its biggest competitor, Pepsi, sponsoring the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show, featuring Justin Timberlake, Coca-Cola has taken a markedly different approach to advertising around the Super Bowl.

During the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII, Coca-Cola will air a 60-second ad entitled, “The Wonder of Us.” The first in a series of national television spots that will air this year, the piece kicks off advertising for the brand’s “A Coke for Everyone” platform.

“The Wonder of Us celebrates the things that make us unique and reminds us that there’s a Coke for each and every one of us. There’s a different, delicious Coke – glass bottle or mini can; zero sugar or original taste – for every occasion and every unique individual,” said Stuart Kronauge, Senior Vice President of Marketing and President of USA Operations, CocaCola North America.

Coke – The Wonder of Us – Big Game 2018 – Ad Screenshot (1)

Beyond its game day advertisement, Coca-Cola ran a full-page print ad in the New York Times on Super Bowl Sunday featuring a poem related to diversity. The same advertisement will run in USA Today on Monday, February 5.

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Sports fans can expect to see more advertising related to the “A Coke for Everyone” platform, as the brand plans to activate around the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and 2018 Daytona 500.

From an advertising perspective, Pepsico is taking a different approach for Super Bowl LII.

Pepsico will run a 30-second ad during Super Bowl LII entitled, “This is the Pepsi.” Narrated by Jimmy Fallon, the ad is a take on the brand’s 1992 Super Bowl ad, which starred Cindy Crawford. This iteration features the supermodel and her son–also a model–Presley Gerber. Other celebrities previously featured in Pepsi ads, like Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Jeff Gordon, are featured.

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The brand’s Super Bowl advertising campaign also features a strong social media push, with a roll out of a long-form version of the ad across Pepsi’s social media accounts on game day.

Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi plans to continue telling the story of this campaign, Pepsi Generations,” at other marquee events in 2018. It will do so by hosting Pepsi Generations Live pop-up events.

Markedly different in their Super Bowl advertising strategies and spends, the question will become: Which beverage brand will win America’s tastebuds?


Alicia Jessop

Founder of Ruling Sports


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