Pepsi Ditches Super Bowl Soda Ads in Favor of Social Media Campaign

The Super Bowl has lost one of its mainstay advertisers to social media. According to Mashable.com, Pepsi has decided to pull its drink ads from the upcoming NFL championship game this January in favor of a $20 million social media campaign.

The Pepsi Refresh Project will start on January 13, 2010 when the public can submit suggestions on projects that will “refresh” their communities through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Voting on projects will begin on February 1, with the projects receiving the highest vote totals to be funded by Pepsi. The company expects to spend $20 million on the various projects.

While the Pepsi brand won’t be seen during the Super Bowl, PepsiCo will still be spending money to advertise its other offerings – such as the snacks under its Frito-Lay umbrella – during the big game.

“We will be back with ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ and Doritos again,” said Frito-Lay spokesman Chris Kuechenmeister. “Doritos will air three consumer-created spots this time around and is aiming to take the top three spots of the USA Today Ad Meter.”

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