PURCHASE, N.Y. — Pepsi will not advertise its drinks in next year's Super Bowl, ending a 23-year run so the company can focus on a new marketing effort that will appear mostly online.
Pepsi beverages have been advertised in the Super Bowl since 1987. Frito-Lay, a unit of parent company PepsiCo Inc., will still advertise.
The company, which is based in Purchase, N.Y., wouldn't say how much it spent last year on Super Bowl ads, but it was one of the biggest advertisers, buying several minutes of commercial time. Ad time last year cost about $3 million for 30 seconds, on average.
The Feb. 7 NFL championship game will be televised on CBS. Package delivery company FedEx also said Thursday it will not advertise again in the Super Bowl due to costs, the same reason the company gave last year for sitting it out.
Pepsi recognizes Super Bowl ads can be effective for marketing, spokeswoman Nicole Bradley said, but the game doesn't work with the company's goals next year.
"In 2010, each of our beverage brands has a strategy and marketing platform that will be less about a singular event and more about a movement," she said.
Notable Super Bowl ads from Pepsi over the years have included celebrities such as Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears and Will.i.am.
The nation's second-biggest soft drink maker is plowing marketing dollars into its "Pepsi Refresh Project" starting next month as its main vehicle for Pepsi. The project will pay at least $20 million for projects people create to "refresh" communities.
A Web site will go live Jan. 13 where people can list their projects, which could range from helping to feed people to teaching children to read. People can vote starting Feb. 1 to determine which projects receive money.
Pepsi estimates the effort will fund thousands of projects and says other businesses will pledge money, too.
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