PepsiCo Unleashes Super Bowl Marketing Blitz, Minus Flagship Pepsi-Cola Brand

PepsiCo, Inc. PEP is mounting a full-throttle marketing push for Super Bowl LV, albeit without its flagship Pepsi-Cola brand.

What Happened: While a great deal of media coverage of this year's Super Bowl marketing has noted the absence of the Pepsi-Cola brand, the PepsiCo portfolio will be on full display during the Feb. 7 broadcast.

The company's Cheetos brand will be represented with a commercial starring Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Shaggy in a noir spoof involving Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix, while talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and actress Mindy Kaling bump up against a mysterious figure called "#FlatMatthew" in an advertisement for Doritos 3D Crunch.

Rapper Lil Baby is in the spotlight in a commercial for PepsiCo's Rockstar Energy brand — the company acquired the energy drink line last year for $3.85 billion, and this is the product's Super Bowl advertising debut.

Wrestler-turned-movie star John Cena will fill the screen in a commercial promoting the new "Major Melon" flavor from Pepsico's Mtn Dew line.

PepsiCo has produced the Super Bowl half-time show since 2012, and this year will find The Weeknd as the production's star performer. The Purchase, New York-headquartered company has also launched the portal to further promote the big show within the big game.

What's Happening Off-Camera: This year's Super Bowl is being played in Tampa, and PepsiCo is making its presence felt locally via corporate social responsibility endeavors.

On Jan. 25, the company's Pepsi Stronger Together initiative teamed with the environmental nonprofit Force Blue to host Dive55, a daylong event that removed marine debris and abandoned fishing gear from Spanish Rocks Reef at Anna Maria, Florida.

Pepsi Stronger Together also teamed with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to provide $100,000 in grants and support for Tampa-area restaurants that have been financially damaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant recipients will be named during Shaquille O'Neal's "Shaq Bowl" restaurant challenge on Super Bowl Sunday. An additional $10,000 grant is being offered through the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

Furthermore, the company's event marketing presence will be seen in the Tampa skies as drones deliver Super Bowl-related merchandise to selected local residents.

The company promised the drone drops were designed for Tampa resident to help "make their homegating experience an unforgettable one."

As for the Pepsi-Cola brand, it has hardly been forgotten. Yesterday, the company hosted a social media campaign to boost the new Pepsi "Cocoa" Cola, a wintertime limited edition offering that adds a chocolate presence to the soft drink's ingredient mix.

PEP Price Action: Pepsi shares gained 0.3% in Monday's session, closing at $136.98. 

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