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Details of Super Bowl commercials for Pepsi, Pepsi Max revealed

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo on Monday revealed details of the ads that will premiere during Super Bowl XLVI this weekend.

Pepsi’s 60-second "King’s Court" ad will feature "The X Factor" winner Melanie Amaro singing for Grammy-winning music legend Sir Elton John who plays a "king of rock" in the commercial. Amaro will sing a contemporary version of "Respect," a song made famous by Aretha Franklin.

"For decades, Pepsi has showcased musical talent in its commercials on television’s biggest stage — the Super Bowl," PepsiCo Beverages CMO Simon Lowden said. "This year’s spot takes our legacy to the next level by spotlighting a rising pop artist alongside a music legend and engaging fans on a deeper level through powerful digital programming."

Meanwhile, Pepsi Max’s 30-second spot, called "Check-Out," will feature entertainment icon Regis Philbin, who surprises a "Pepsi Max for Life" grand-prize winner with an on-the-spot interview. As part of the ad, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles to record a country ballad to accompany the spot.

"The ‘Check-Out’ ad was developed to extend the legendary cola wars through a humorous scenario," Pepsi senior director of marketing Amy Wirtanen said. "The brand has a history of producing star-studded Super Bowl ads, and as one of the most iconic personalities to ever appear on television, Regis Philbin with his witty sense of humor was a funny highlight for this commercial."

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Rite Aid launches Valentine’s Day promotion

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is stocking up on items related to Valentine’s Day to help customers celebrate the holiday, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

Rite Aid announced the launch of "Sweet Escape," an interactive promotion through Facebook and Twitter that includes prizes provided by Hershey’s and American Greetings, including a two-night stay at The Spa at The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pa. The promotion also will offer a limited number of printable coupons for Hershey’s "Pot of Gold" boxed chocolates.

"Sweet Escape offers Rite Aid’s steadily growing Facebook, Twitter and email audiences fun ways to connect and celebrate this special, romantic holiday," Rite Aid VP marketing Craig Riner said. "We’re thrilled to team up with Hershey’s and American Greetings to give our customers, fans and followers one more way to ‘share the love.’"

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General Mills brings ‘the force’ to the breakfast table via ‘Star Wars’ promotion

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills has launched a special promotion in line with the premiere of "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace" in 3D.

General Mills said its cereal brands will tout specially marked boxes that will contain eight exclusive collectable pens featuring iconic characters from the film. Participating cereals include Cinnamon Toast Crunch (12.8 oz.), Lucky Charms (11.5 oz.), Reese’s Puffs (13 oz.), Cheerios (14 oz.), and Cookie Crisp (11.25 oz).

“Star Wars is such an exciting and timeless franchise, and we are thrilled to combine it with our nourishing cereals made with whole grain,” said Julie Anderla, integrated communications manager for General Mills. “By uniting the two, we are truly creating an unstoppable ‘Force’.”

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