Steve Carell is not here to mess around in a new Super Bowl ad for Pepsi. The comedic actor is here to tell us– no, prove to us– that Pepsi is more than “just okay”.
In a recent interview with AdWeek, Jennifer Saenz, the CEO of Frito Lay North America, said, “The Super Bowl is a super important time for us to grab consumers’ attention. It’s a day where people come together, and they’re enjoying snacks and beverages really as a part of their experience. PepsiCo and its portfolio really naturally fit the occasion.”
The Pepsi ad brings us Steve Carell, Lil Jon, and Cardi B, who are all here to answer the question, “Is Pepsi OK?” Greg Lyons, the company’s CMO for North American beverages, recently said that they decided to go with Carell because he “could be strong and funny at the same time to talk about how great Pepsi is.”
“It’s what happens in real life a fair amount,” Lyons said. “We had a choice to embrace it and flip it on its head or to ignore it. We play it off as something consumers can really relate to, and we did it in a fun Pepsi way that really highlights and celebrates how great Pepsi is.”
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Carell was asked whether he played a character in the commercial. He responded, “I guess I am playing myself, at least a version of myself. It’s weird, too. I think this goes for a lot of actors. When you see them on a talk show or when they’re portraying themselves in a commercial, I think it’s always a version of who they are. It’s not exactly who they are. I am much, much less interesting than my public version of myself.”
PepsiCo is rolling out three ads for the Big Game: one for Doritos, another for Bubly, and the above for Pepsi; all three commercials star big-name celebrities, like the Backstreet Boys, Chance the Rapper, and Michael Buble. When it comes to their newest brand, Bubly, they’re hoping to raise awareness.
This year, over 100 million viewers are expected to tune in to the Super Bowl, which is widely known as the most-watched television program of the year. With such high ratings, it should come as no surprise that the price of ad space has skyrocketed as a result of viewership. According to Sporting News, CBS is charging a record $5.25 million for a 30-second spot during the game between the Rams and the Patriots. This is an increase from 2007, when it cost $2.4 million for the same amount of commercial space.