Pepsi’s ‘All For Football’ & ‘Hype Your Hometown’ Super Bowl Work

December sees Pepsi kick of its sponsorship of the sport, music and advertising festival that is the Super Bowl Halftime Show with a consumer contest called ‘Hype Your Hometown’.


This photo and video competition offers to bring the halftime show to the winner’s home town and the victorious entrant also gets a VIP place on the Super Bowl field for Katy Perry’s halftime performance.


Pepsi is asking consumers to show just how hyped they are for halftime with a photo or video which they are asked to upload it to the campaign website at https://hypedforhalftime.com/ and then tag each entrants home town for a chance to win.


The site also encourages players to spread the word socially to get friends in their home towns to vote for their own entry.


The reward for the winner is that Pepsi will bring a version of the ‘Halftime Hype’ to the winner’s home town.


The spot is being promoted across a slew of digital and traditional platforms, including online spots such as this ‘Operation Halftime’ ad shot with the USS Lexington.



Pepsi, which in addition to the Halftime Show partnership is also the official soft drink of the National Football League (NFL), has been almost entirely absent from traditional TV ad breaks through the season until this latest initiative.


Preferring to activate via a digitally-led strategy revolvingg around a campaign called ‘All For Football’, throughout the autumn and first part of the Winter.


Indeed, it has spent the vast majority of its football marketing dollars on online videos starring NFL players.


This year’s digital campaign #AllForFootball has been largely built around a set of three online videos featuring NFL players Andy Dalton, Matt Stafford and Nick Mangold making surprise appearances at Pepsi events and retailers.


The latest digital spot features New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees guiding shoppers wearing a Pepsi ‘Smart Helmet’ through an obstacle course erected in a Walmart parking lot in New Orleans.



This online ad has thus far racked up 1.6 million YouTube Views.


It followed earlier videos were set in a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, a Hess convenience store and a Meijer grocery store.


The latter was called ‘Snap Fridge’ and it rolled out earlier in November featuring New York Jets Center Nick Mangold surprising fans at a local Hess Express with the Snap Fridge.



It too has passed the 1.5 million mark on YouTube.


An earlier spot saw Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford surprise fans at a local Meijer with the Can Cave.



Again this generated more than 1.5 million YouTube Views.


Whilst the previous digital ad that ran at the beginning of the season saw Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton hold a news conference on a video screen inside a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.



Pepsi replaced Coca-Cola in 2013 as the drinks supplier to the Buffalo Wild Wings chain in a deal that included a set of joint marketing initiatives tied to sports and entertainment.


This initial spot failed to generate the same level of buzz with just 45,000-plus views.


These numbers fall short of the views generated by some of Pepsi’s recent viral video hits. Such as 2013’s Pepsi Max ‘Uncle Drew’ which featured NBA star Kyrie Irving and drew 4 million views in a single week.


Nevertheless, Pepsi claim to be happy with the engagement levels.


‘We’ve been extremely pleased with this campaign to date,’ Spiridakis adds.


Pepsi supported the online ads via promoted social media posts and pre-roll digital video ad buys.


The only TV ad-buy is on the NFL Network.


The Marketing Arm handled the Buffalo Wild Wings spot, while Mekanismwas the agency for the other three.


This is an interesting new collaborative approach that sees Pepsi’s retail partners get valuable exposure while the soft drinks giant actually pays for the ads.


‘We’ve really been looking for how we can change our activation model with partners,’ said Spiridakis.


‘We see this as really offering those partners value through both media and content, while it simultaneously builds both our brand as well as that of our partner.’


Other aspects of #AllForFootball ranged from a ‘Text-based Super Bowl Ticket Competition’ and a ‘Party Challenge Photo Sharing Initiative’, to a major sweepstakes competition offering consumers a chance to collect on-pack codes from various specially marked Pepsi products to enter a competition to win a ‘meet and greet’ session with one of 10 NFL stars acting as campaign ambassadors.


This competition revolved around the sweepstakes website as https://www.pepsiplayers.com/




This multi-phased approach certainly makes when maximising value via activation of what many consider to be the world’s biggest (and most expensive) annual sponsorship programme.


This digital focus will change as Pepsi is set to air a set of traditional TV ads in the lead-up to its heavily promoted sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show.


But for the first half of this NFL season, the league’s flagship sponsor clearly believes that digital is more efficient and effective.


‘As we’ve studied consumers media consumption behaviours around the NFL, we’ve seen a lot more engagement online as [fans] research players or teams for updates through the first part of the season,’ explains Pepsi brand marketing director Amy Spiridakis.


‘As the [regular] season is now winding down, gearing up towards the playoffs, you’ll see in the next couple weeks [that] we [will] shift directions a little bit.’


Last season, the brand began rolling out its hyped for halftime-themed TV ads when the play-offs began in the first week of January and it is expected to adopt a similar strategy this year.


This also has the bonus of avoiding investing in the expensive traditional media advertising festive period.




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