Business Strategies / Capital Spending / Industry News

PepsiCo to Cut Frito-Lay Ads at the 2017 Super Bowl; Will Spotlight Pepsi Zero Instead

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Dec 14, 2016

For the first time in a decade, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay Division, whose Doritos brand has been a mainstay Super Bowl advertiser, is sitting out the game for the first time in 10 years, reports stated this week. Doritos began running ads in 2007 with its popular "Crash the Super Bowl" contest. The contest ended this year after 10 years.

A spokesperson from Frito-Lay confirmed on Dec. 12 to Ad Age that the division will not try to follow-up Crash with something else in the game, at least not in 2017. "There are no plans for Frito-Lay brands to advertise during the upcoming Super Bowl, as it did not fit with our marketing plans, however, we continue to enjoy a great partnership with the NFL that connects multiple brands within PepsiCo," the spokesperson said. However, parent company PepsiCo will have a Super Bowl presence in Pepsi's sponsorship of the halftime show starring Lady Gaga. Pepsi will use the halftime show to highlight its Pepsi Zero Sugar variety, perhaps in efforts to bolster sluggish soda sales. The soda brand has not confirmed any ad plans beyond the sponsorship.

The Doritos ads reportedly ranked well with everyday consumers, despite critiques from professional ad critics.