Pepsi has reunited with basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal for a nostalgic campaign, celebrating the brand’s 125th anniversary and introducing a fresh visual identity. This collaboration, reminiscent of their iconic ’90s partnership, spotlights Pepsi’s mini-sized cans, linking past and present in a creative fusion.
The new 60-second commercial humorously portrays Shaquille O’Neal facing everyday challenges due to his towering stature, echoing the theme of his memorable ’90s “Big Slam” advertisement. This time, however, the focus shifts from the Big Slam soda to Pepsi Mini Cans, highlighting their convenience and suitability for all occasions.
Setting the tone, the advertisement features Skee-Lo’s ’90s hit “I Wish,” with a clever lyrical twist to “I wish I was a little bit smaller,” complementing the mini can concept. Skee-Lo himself makes a cameo, bridging the nostalgia with the current campaign narrative.
Jenny Danzi, Senior Director for Pepsi Trademark, emphasizes the campaign’s focus on nostalgia, recognizing its appeal to consumers and Pepsi’s legacy as a brand that consistently looks forward and celebrates cultural creators.
Pepsi’s strategic blend of nostalgia and innovation in this campaign is a masterstroke in marketing. By revisiting a celebrated partnership with Shaquille O’Neal and cleverly integrating a beloved ’90s song, Pepsi not only pays homage to its rich heritage but also introduces its contemporary product in a manner that resonates across generations. For marketers, this campaign underscores the potent mix of nostalgia and innovation, demonstrating how brands can effectively use their legacy to introduce new products and refresh their image in the consumer’s mind.