Pepsi and Coca-Cola have announced that they will not to run TV ads during the Super Bowl next month due to prioritising cashflow during the economic downturn resulting from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Coca-Cola revealed on Friday, in an announcement, that it would not air ads during the CBS broadcast of Super Bowl LV in February. This follows a Variety report last week that Pepsi would not make advertising buys during the iconic US sports event.
The Hill reported a statement by the Coca-Cola company that the move was a “difficult choice” to “ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times".
“We’ll be toasting to our fellow brands with an ice-cold Coke from the sidelines”, the company statement continued.
Pepsi, one of the event's largest and most consistent supporters, said that it would not play ads during the game to “double down on our existing 12 minutes in the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show in the middle of the Super Bowl", according to a statement from Todd Kaplan, a Pepsi marketing vice president, as reported in Variety.
“We are going to build it out like we have never built it out before”, Kaplan said and clarified that it was not due to a desire to reduce spending.
Canadian singer The Weeknd who is poised to headline the Pepsi-sponsored show will take part in a Pepsi ad campaign prior to the game on 7 February, marking the first time a headliner of the event has done so, Variety claims.
Variety reported on Friday that CBS had not yet announced a sell-out of its game commercial inventory, as the network is looking for an additional $5.5 million in advertising deals.
In 2020, Coca-Cola spent some $10 million on advertising throughout the Fox broadcast of Super Bowl LIV, ad-spending tracker Kantar revealed.
Last year’s Superbowl saw $435 million in ad spending, a new record, according to Kantar.
Coca Cola said in December 2020 that they would eliminate 2,200 jobs worldwide, with 1,200 in the US, due to collapsing sales amid the ongoing pandemic.
The Atlanta, Georgia, company has been planning reductions since the summer after it offered buyouts to almost 4,000 employees in North America. Earlier in 2020, the brand announced that it would end Tab, Odwalla and Zico, according to a CNN report.