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    Pepsi prepares for NFL season with fridge-TV combo, new commercials

    • Pepsi launched a national contest today (Aug. 18) to give away one Pepsi Gametime Fridge TV, a 55-inch TV with a built-in, 16-can mini-fridge, to promote its Pepsi Zero Sugar beverage and amp up NFL fans ahead of the upcoming season, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
    • The novelty product pokes fun at the dilemma sports fans face when leaving the couch mid-game for a drink. To enter the giveaway, entrants must share who they will be watching football with this season using the hashtags #GametimeFridgeTV and #PepsiSweepstakes on Twitter or Instagram. The contest will close Aug. 20.
    • The contest ties into Pepsi’s “Better with Pepsi” platform and precedes two national TV spots that demonstrate how Pepsi will continue its NFL relationship, despite no longer sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show.

    Despite Pepsi cutting the cord on its longtime NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show sponsorship, the company understandably wants to maintain ties with what has become the most profitable sports league in the world. The desire is signified by parent PepsiCo’s decision to continue a larger, nearly-40-year deal with the league, which covers a wider portion of its portfolio including Gatorade and Frito-Lay. The brand’s latest push further cements its intentions.

    Marketing itself to at-home football fans, Pepsi’s Gametime TV Fridge is a 55-inch TV with a 4K screen that mounts on the wall, but with the click of a button, the TV will move from center to the right using a motorized system to reveal a 16-can fridge complete with LED lighting. The product, which leans more on the pricey side compared to traditional novelty-product activations, is meant to provide a solution to the hesitancy of leaving the room for a new drink during a game.

    To further promote its zero-sugar offering and NFL pairing, Pepsi is also unveiling two national TV spots, both of which pair the drink with fan-favorite game day foods, burgers and pizza. The first, “Grillmaster,” alludes to the overwhelming joy one feels at a football tailgate after realizing how well Pepsi and burgers go together, and the second, “Blocking the Kick,” shows a fan so distracted by his pizza and Pepsi pairing that he almost ruins the football game for his friends.

    The TV spots, airing during NFL Kickoff next month, are meant to further bolster the brand’s “Better with Pepsi” campaign that was launched in 2020 and aims to associate the beverage with favorite foods and activities. In May, the brand released a soda-infused pepperoni pizza, the Pepsi-Roni Pizza, timed with National Pizza Day. A year prior, the company preached that Pepsi is better with burgers, a blow to Coke that suggested consumers would prefer their McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s burgers with Pepsi instead of the brand’s biggest rival. Along with the spots, Pepsi has also teased additional content to come throughout the season, including additional consumer-led activations and digital and linear content, per the release.

    Pepsi certainly isn’t the first to release sports-focused novelty products. During the 2022 Super Bowl, Captain Morgan released a Super Bowl Punch Bowl that displayed the score of the game on its base in real time. Also this year, Molson Coors, who will be returning to Super Bowl advertising for the first time in over three decades, introduced a beer-flavored lollipop intended to help hyped-up sports fans calm down as they watch basketball matches during March Madness.

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