Ozzy Swears for Pepsi

Jan 24, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Bad language and addled brains will be front and center on Sunday when Pepsi launches commercials featuring Ozzy Osbourne and clan during the Super Bowl.

The soft drink maker will run four spots in all to promote its Sierra Mist rollout, Pepsi Twist and Diet Pepsi brands. None of the ads will feature Pepsi-Cola.

Adweek reports that in one commercial, the Osbourne kids “unzip” Pepsi cans to reveal Pepsi Twists. “You’re a bunch of bloody magicians, Ozzy says in bewilderment. Then, Jack and Kelly announce that they’re not really Osbournes, but Osmonds, “unzipping” their faces to become the famous 1970s brother/sister act, Donny and Marie. As they sing, the scene cuts to Ozzy waking from the “nightmare,” crying out his wife Sharon’s name. The woman next to him offers comfort. She’s not Sharon, but Florence Henderson who played Carol Brady on the 1970s sitcom “The Brady Bunch.”

Moderator’s Comment: What do you think of Pepsi’s strategy
to emphasize brands other than its flagship during the Super Bowl? What are
your thoughts on the company’s decision to choose Ozzy and family as its choice
to represent the company’s brands in commercials?

Smart move to switch ad creative from Pepsi to other business.
The Pepsi brand is well established and would gain little from airing during
the Super Bowl. A new brand such as Sierra Mist, on the other hand, has a much
greater upside potential at this point. It should also be noted that this is
not the first time Pepsi has gone this route. In past Super Bowls it has emphasized
Mountain Dew, for example, instead of the Pepsi brand.

On the choice of the Osbournes, The Daily News of New
York included a column this week that said ratings for the reality tv show has
fallen off precipitously in its second season. This would be a concern for us
if we had committed to investing millions in a personality to pitch our product.
Anderson – Moderator

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