Food & Beverage

Rockstar Energy to air its first-ever Super Bowl ad to introduce new branding under PepsiCo

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Key Points
  • PepsiCo bought Rockstar Energy last year for $3.85 billion.
  • The energy drink brand will air its first-ever Super Bowl ad, which will star rapper Lil Baby and first responders.
  • Rockstar is also rolling out new packaging with an updated logo and plans to launch new flavors later this year.
Rapper Lil Baby stars in Rockstar's Super Bowl ad
Rockstar

Rockstar Energy will air its first-ever Super Bowl commercial to reintroduce the brand to viewers after its acquisition by PepsiCo last year.

Pepsi bought the energy drink brand for $3.85 billion as part of a broader push into the caffeinated category. Rockstar's market share had been flagging in recent years as new products entered the market, and rival Monster Beverage is still far and away the top energy drink maker.

The food and beverage giant is hoping to revitalize Rockstar and make it relevant again under the leadership of Fabiola Torres, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo Energy. Torres joined the company in April after several years at Apple's Beats by Dre brand. Before that job, she worked at Nike for nearly two decades.

"For Pepsi, energy is one of the top priorities for the company," Torres said.

A teaser for Rockstar's spot shows rapper Lil Baby, and the full commercial is also going to include first responders. Torres said that the brand is aiming to strike a more inclusive tone in its marketing than previous iterations of Rockstar. In addition to embracing action sports, Rockstar is also planning to target the music and gaming communities as well, according to Torres.

"It's going to be fun, it's going to be relatable and it's going to be relevant," she said.

Other noteworthy brands making their Super Bowl debuts this year include DoorDash and Chipotle Mexican Grill. Some legacy brands, like Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser and Pepsi's namesake soda, have opted to not advertise during the game this year.

While Pepsi won't be airing its own commercial, Rockstar's use of Lil Baby draws from the soda's history of using big names in music, like Britney Spears and Beyonce, as the focus of its own Super Bowl ads.

Thirty-second spots on the advertising's biggest night have been selling for $5.5 million or slightly higher, and ViacomCBS said Wednesday that it "virtually" sold out of ad inventory, much later than years past.

"It's important for us to do it in the most important sport moment for our audience," Torres said. "For us, it's really about making sure we have more eyeballs and it's time for us to start the dialogue with the consumer again and maintain it throughout the year."

Rockstar is also rolling out fresh packaging with an updated logo and plans to launch new flavors later this year.

Shares of Pepsi have fallen 2.9% over the last year, giving it a market value of $190.77 billion. The company's sales have gotten a boost from consumer stockpiling of its snacks and drinks.

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