Super Bowl Halftime Show Review: What Pepsi Did Made Zero Sense
I’ve always wondered why Pepsi continually sponsors the Super Bowl Halftime show. Admittedly, I’m usually switching over to the Puppy Bowl to see if the littlest button-cute critter can rumble to a TD and into our collective hearts.
This year especially, as the Atlanta Falcons were laying the wood to the Patriots in the first half, I was ready for something more exciting at halftime, praying that a drunk Terry Bradshaw would stumble through his first half analysis and then reach across the desk and slug Jimmy Johnson with an empty beer stein.
I was not looking forward to Lady Gaga performing at halftime, but my remote got trapped beneath my plate of loaded nachos.
And before I could secure its rescue, Gaga happened.
I’ve never been a Gaga fan. And I thought Pepsi Zero took a big risk booking this political lightning rod during America’s biggest show. But, I was wrong. Have you ever tried to sing while being lowered on guide wires from the top of a football stadium? Gaga did and she added a few flips in just for good measure. (No lip-syncing here, Mariah). But I digress. It would be a crime to forget that she opened the show with a heartfelt tribute to America, singing God Bless America and This Land Was Made for You and Me. (I honestly didn’t know Gaga had that kind of a voice.) Then she flew from the top of the stadium like a trapeze artist, landed and performed her most popular tunes along with a few new ones. But most importantly, she gave us a little excitement during the midway point of a game that featured a commercial lineup as anemic as the Falcons' late-game defense.
Sure, the game turned exciting in the end as the Patriots mounted an historic 4th-quarter comeback to produce one of the most riveting finishes in the annals of modern football. That catch by Edelman off a defender’s shoe top? WTH? Tom Brady got his one-for-the-thumb Super Bowl ring. And Belichick actually smiled? Blah, blah, yada-yada-yada. The Patriots looked pathetic at halftime, OK?
And in marketing, the trick is to have your brand in the right place at the right time. Well-played, Pepsi Zero. You gambled on Gaga and won. She delivered. That made Zero sense.