Halberstadt: Brees, Pepsi score with commercial
By Doug Halberstadt
Drew Brees and his fellow New Orleans Saints players aren’t having the kind of success they’d hoped for on the football field this season. They have more losses than wins, and are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. That’s the downside of things for Brees.
The silver lining in Brees’ cloud might be the notoriety he is getting from his role in a currently running Pepsi commercial. He appears in a couple of different versions of the television spot. The ad features the British boy band One Direction and Brees comparing their accomplishments and levels of fame while stating their case for getting the last can of Pepsi. Brees touts his Super Bowl trophy and MVP selection. One Direction points out their platinum-selling album and legions of screaming teen-age female fans.
Pepsi has scored a marketing touchdown with this commercial. I’m not basing this observation on any statistical Madison Avenue research numbers. I’ve got my own measuring stick.
Last week, my daughter and I were having dinner at a local restaurant and overheard the table next to us talking about the commercial featuring Brees. This wouldn’t have been so extraordinary if it were a table of middle-aged, beer-drinking, hot-wing-eating men sitting next to us. It wasn’t.
This table was occupied by four distinguished-looking elderly ladies. I’m guessing prior to them having seen this commercial they probably had little or no clue who Brees was or what sport he played. From some of the details I was able to overhear, I could tell they knew very little about professional football in general, but they did know Brees played the game and he was a “star.”
I’m sure these women weren’t in the demographic group Pepsi was targeting with this commercial. Regardless of their target audience, the soft drink-maker can take satisfaction in knowing this ad actually transcended some of those traditional marketing boundaries.
If a table of four elderly, Midwestern women in a casual dining restaurant were talking and recalling details about their ad, I’d say it’s a safe bet so were middle-aged, beer-drinking, hot-wing-eating men at sport bars all across America.
Well done, Brees and Pepsi.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Dec. 19-25, 2012, issue
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