- Pepsi has teamed with basketball icon Shaquille O’Neal for a recent business that attracts inspiration from a run of ads between the duo from the ‘90s, per details shared with Marketing Dive. The campaign promoting Pepsi Mini Cans is an extension of the brand’s One hundred and twenty fifth-anniversary marketing blitz.
- The recent 60-second spot, titled “I Wish,” is soundtracked by a remix of Skee-Lo’s 1995 hip-hop hit of the identical name and comically portrays the inconveniences O’Neal has faced as an individual standing over seven feet tall. The creative nods to a 1994 ad backing the now-retired Pepsi Big Slam product.
- “I Wish” will air on linear TV during select NBA and NFL events. Starting Nov. 20, consumers can post a Pepsi Mini Can paired with their favorite food on social media for a probability to win a basketball signed by O’Neal.
Decades after first collaborating, Pepsi and Shaq are back along with a campaign that highlights the soft drink marketer’s mini-sized cans. A glance back to past work with the NBA icon ties into Pepsi’s ongoing One hundred and twenty fifth-anniversary celebration, which began earlier in the autumn and spans 125 days of promotions. The media blitz also serves because the official introduction of the brand’s first visual overhaul in 14 years.
Nostalgia has been a significant focus for Pepsi because it examines over a century in consumer culture and tries to usher in a recent look. The One hundred and twenty fifth-anniversary campaign has recently seen Pepsi revive vintage ads featuring music stars like Ray Charles, Madonna and Tina Turner.
“Dipping into nostalgia, which we all know consumers love, helps us construct that foundation that [Pepsi] has at all times been a forward-looking brand, has at all times been celebrating the subsequent generation of culture creators and has at all times been launching the subsequent generation of products,” said Jenny Danzi, senior director for Pepsi Trademark, in an interview with Marketing Dive.
The recent 60-second business depicts O’Neal comically combating tasks which might be often considered one-size-fits-all, like sitting comfortably on an airplane or fitting lengthwise on a bed. The theme echoes similar messaging to that of the athlete’s “Big Slam” ad from the ‘90s.
The latest spot is soundtracked by “I Wish” by Skee-Lo, who makes a cameo appearance, and notably incorporates a twist on the song’s popular refrain “I wish I used to be slightly bit taller” to grow to be “I wish I used to be slightly bit smaller.” Instead of promoting the discontinued Big Slam soda — which was unique to Pepsi’s partnership with O’Neal — the athlete is now seen promoting Pepsi Mini Cans because the just-right size for any occasion.
The use of Skee-Lo’s popular tune is supposed to tap into the culture surrounding music, a cornerstone for Pepsi, in line with Danzi.
“Pepsi plays in music and in sports and across loads of facets of culture, but music was something that we talked loads about as we went through the archives,” said Danzi.
The business may be viewed on Pepsi’s YouTube channel and can air on linear TV during select national NBA games on TNT and ESPN starting Nov. 22. Additionally, the creative will run during NBC’s primetime NFL line-up on Thanksgiving. O’Neal will market Pepsi Mini Cans through 2024, Danzi said, though the manager declined to share further details.
Consumers starting Nov. 20 may also enter to win an official NBA basketball signed by O’Neal by tagging Pepsi on social media in a photograph sharing their favorite food paired with a Pepsi mini can with the hashtags #BetterWithPepsiMinis and #Sweepstakes. The move ties right into a “Better with Pepsi” platform introduced in 2021 that’s meant to raise Pepsi as the best pairing with foods.
Other activations this 12 months under the platform have included a Pepsi 125 Diner concept in New York City in October, a cola-infused condiment for July Fourth and ads that suggest consumers prefer its product paired with rum over competitor Coke.
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