On December 4, Pepsi brand released its first-ever national ad celebrating two of the most famous HBCU bands.
According to Essence, in a news release, Pepsi said the 60-second commercial, called “The Halftime Game,” will hype up the HBCU band culture during the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) football championship game.
“At PepsiCo, we’ve committed to supporting HBCUs year-round, and I’m honored to help shine a light on these marching bands with this new spot airing during one of the largest games of the season,” said Chauncey Hamlett, CMO/VP of PBNA, South Division.
“We wanted to spotlight these two incredible bands because we know that in HBCU culture, the game is not just about football, but also the energy, hype, and history these bands bring to halftime and beyond.”
The ad features Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) “Marching 100” and Jackson State University’s (JSU) “Sonic Boom of the South,” which are two of the top-ranking HBCU marching bands.
Pepsi aims to support Black talent with its latest commercial. Besides the commercial, the brand also partnered with JSU Coach Deion Sanders, committed to multi-year partnerships with the National Battle of The Bands, and will be the primary beverage sponsor of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Pepsi also sponsored the Allen McKellar Jr. Internship Program for an HBCU female students called “She Got Now,” donated $100,000, which enabled Hampton University’s marching band to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time, as well as sponsored the MTN DEW Real Change Fund, which provides HBCU Students with $1 million to help fund startup companies.
Dr. Roderick Little, JSU Director of Bands. said, “It is an esteemed honor to have been selected to participate in a nationally televised commercial with Pepsi.”
“Of course, this is an outstanding opportunity for our students, band, and university, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge what this affiliation means for all HBCU band programs regarding exposure that could garner the support of future donors and corporate sponsors. The future is bright for HBCU band programs because of great opportunities such as these!” Little added.
“This ad campaign provides a fitting showcase for two exceptional music programs,” said Dr. Shelby Chipman, FAMU Director of Bands.
“Our marching band students are committed to excellence in the classroom and performing on the field. This campaign celebrates their dedication and talent. Fans of the incomparable Marching’ 100’ will be pleased. It was an amazing experience for our students to work with the production team during their visit to our campus.”
With this ad, Pepsi has invested more than $3 million. The commercial will air on SWAC media, which includes ABC during December’s Celebration BOWL, and national media outlets throughout the entire month.