Can Pepsi MAX Conquer the Competition?

Yes, says the zero-calorie cola. In a multimedia marketing campaign, Pepsi MAX invites American consumers to taste for themselves that when it comes to maximum taste and zero calories, Pepsi MAX conquers the competition.

That’s the message in a remake of the “Diner” commercial that aired during Super Bowl XXIX, where two soda delivery truck drivers go head-to-head over a can of the “best tasting cola on the market.”

In the 2010 version, the truckers are back; and they both want the zero calories and maximum taste that Pepsi MAX can deliver.

“We’re looking our competition squarely in the eye and making an unabashed claim about the great taste of Pepsi MAX. That’s why we’ve revamped one of our most memorable Super Bowl spots to excite our consumers, bottlers and customers,” said Lauren Hobart, chief marketing officer, Carbonated Soft Drinks, PepsiCo Beverages Americas.

According to PepsiCo, commercial director Joe Pytka has revisited his classic 1995 spot, which was shot in collaboration with BBDO, to deliver a piece that speaks to the quest for great taste in the digital era.

The new commercial was shot in collaboration with TBWA\Chiat\Day LA. The ad, which features a cameo appearance by Art LaFleur, whom viewers will remember as the original Pepsi truck driver in the 1995 spot, is currently airing in the U.S. on CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN, TBS, E!, TNT, Discovery Channel, and Comedy Central among others. Content will also be available on YouTube and Facebook.

“The Pepsi ‘Diner’ spot is a classic. We took this timeless idea and modernized it to reflect the tonality of this campaign — it’s competitive, it speaks to the digital age, and is true to Pepsi’s identity,” said Rob Schwartz, chief creative officer, TBWA\Chiat\Day LA.

The commercial is part of a campaign to integrate Pepsi MAX into the pop culture lexicon. In addition to a dedicated fan page on Facebook and a partnership with YouTube, the soft drink will also be featured at select NASCAR, MLB and NFL events. Advertising will also appear in national and regional print outlets.

Pepsi MAX is a global brand first launched outside the U.S. in 1993.

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Rakesh Raman