Pepsi is dropping its famous Super Bowl commercials after a 23-year run and shifting the millions it spent on funny ads into the Refresh Project, an online cause-marketing campaign that asks customers how the company should give away its grant money. Starting February 1, readers can vote to give grants to a number of health, environment, culture, and education-related organizations. Pepsi plans to give away multiple grants each month, including two $250,000 grants, 10 $50,000 grants, and 10 $25,000 grants. Visitors are also encouraged to submit their own organizations and grant ideas.
As reported by ESPN:
Pepsi was one of the biggest advertisers in this year’s game and has advertised every year since 1987. Frito-Lay, a unit of parent company PepsiCo Inc., will still have Super Bowl commercials in the 2010 game.
The company, which is based in Purchase, N.Y., spent $33 million advertising products like Pepsi, Gatorade, and Cheetos during the 2009 Super Bowl, according to TNS Media Intelligence, $15 million of it on Pepsi alone. Ad time for the NFL championship game cost about $3 million for 30 seconds, on average.
Those prices may have dipped to as low as $2.5 million per 30 seconds for the 2010 game, according to Jon Swallen, senior vice president of research for TNS Media Intelligence. Final figures won’t be known until after the game, which takes place Feb. 7 and airs on CBS. The network said last week it has sold about 90 percent of the game’s commercial time.
Shipper FedEx also said Thursday it will not advertise again in the Super Bowl due to costs, the same reason the company gave for sitting it out last time around.
Pepsi had been a major advertiser during the Super Bowl. According to TNS, the company spent $142.8 million on the 10 Super Bowl ads from 1999 to 2008, second only to Anheuser-Busch, which spent $216 million.