Pepsi Ends Longtime Tradition of Super Bowl Ads

Thursday, January 28, 2010

David Allan, Ph.D., an entertainment marketing expert and professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, says the big news this year about Super Bowl commercials is what viewers won’t see.

Pepsi, which has bought up commercial slots during the Super Bowl for more than 20 years, has opted out this time around, leaving the field open for other companies to make their move.

"Looks like Coke is it this year at the Super Bowl as Pepsi has decided to take a pass,” said Allan.

This may be disappointing to some viewers, as Pepsi’s over–the-top ads have become somewhat of a tradition through the years. Last year’s memorable sequence of iconic figures of the past and present that flashed across the screen while “Forever Young” played in the background was typical of Pepsi’s use of big names and catchy beats.

Allan says although somewhat surprising, Pepsi’s decision makes sense. He notes that while Pepsi won’t be appearing in any commercial slots during the big game, they are exploring other means of reaching consumers.

“Pepsi changed their marketing strategy to focus on where their target drinkers really are - online,” said Allan.

Allan agrees that the Internet is a great way to reach this demographic. Pepsi’s decision may signal a larger shift in the way companies advertise as people look to the Internet more and more for their news and entertainment.

And with a price tag last year of 30 million dollars for 30 seconds of air time, it seems like a good time for Pepsi to try a new strategy.

Allan, an assistant professor of marketing at Saint Joseph’s, has more than 20 years of experience in media and ethics. In 2004, he was appointed to a National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Subcommittee on Indecency following the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident.

Media Contact

Allan can be reached for comment at, by calling 610-660-1637 or by contacting Saint Joseph’s University Communications at 610-660-1355.

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