Pepsi has unveiled its 2018 global creative campaign, “Pepsi Generations,” spanning the full Pepsi portfolio of Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar and Diet Pepsi, and celebrating the brand’s 120-year history, a news release announced. The effort will kick-off in full for Super Bowl LII,
During the game, Pepsi will air a 30-second ad titled “This Is the Pepsi,” which presents a new spin on its iconic 1992 Super Bowl commercial featuring Cindy Crawford. Crawford returns for the new spot along with her son, Presley Gerber. Pepsi is also sponsoring the halftime show by Justin Timberlake and giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at PepsiHalftime.com, with the chance to live stream the show on social media through the hashtag #PepsiHalftimeLive.
As part of the campaign, Pepsi is bringing back its vintage packaging design for a limited time on regular products starting Jan. 29. Pepsi Stuff, the brand’s loyalty program first launched in 1996, will also return, offering the chance to earn points for purchases and redeem them for prizes. Pepsi Generations’s Live pop-up events will be held throughout the year, with the first one at Nicolette Island Pavilion in Minneapolis during Super Bowl weekend, featuring the country music duo Locash.
Nostalgia is a powerful and compelling marketing tool — one that’s seeing renewed brand interest thanks to the popularity of ’80s and ’90s-themed shows like “Stranger Things.” Pepsi’s original ad with Crawford is highly memorable, and even ranks No. 8 on Time’s “25 Most Influential Super Bowl Ads of All Time.” By bringing back the campaign with a fresh look and with Crawford’s son, Pepsi is hoping to score with a new generation, namely millennials, which have been known to appreciate nostalgia even though most either weren’t born or were too young to remember the ’92 spot.
With a focus on what worked for the company in the past, Pepsi is also likely hoping to bounce back from a disastrous spot starring Kendall Jenner from last year. The brand pulled the ad after only one day following a public outcry on social media over its tone-deaf message about the power of Pepsi to ease tensions between police and protesters.
Pepsi Generations goes beyond merely nodding to its past Super Bowl push with the addition of retro packaging and the revamp of its loyalty program. It further takes a multichannel approach with in-store branding, purchase rewards, social media and out-of-home activations, rounding out the brand’s goal to “celebrate the best moments of our past, create new iconic moments for today and set the stage for an exciting future,” the release said.
Other brands are similarly returning to their roots to harken back to their golden days. During the 2017 holiday season, Toys R Us created a campaign spliced together from ads the retailer ran in the ’70s and ’80s, along with an updated version of its old jingle, “I Don’t Want to Grow Up.”