The most recent Arby’s commercial highlights just one product… and it’s not roast beef. It’s not even an Arby’s original product. Instead, it’s a sweaty glass of Pepsi. This might seem odd coming from a fast food chain known for its different food offerings but there’s a method behind the madness – or at least a good reason for it.
Pepsi made a deal with Arby’s requiring that the cola brand be featured in at least two of the food chain’s television ads this year. Somehow, someway, Arby’s forgot. By the time Pepsi gently reminded Arby’s of their agreement, their 2014 creative had already been finalized.
To make up for their mistake, Arby’s decided to own up to it on national television. Starting December 7th, the 30-second ad ran in Minneapolis, New York and Los Angeles. And until December 13th, viewers will be left with a Pepsi craving that can only be satisfied at Arby’s because, as the tagline so obviously states, “We Have Pepsi.”
Arby’s hasn’t been afraid of taking risks with witty humor in the past. The viral tweet about the similarities between the Arby’s hat and Pharrell Williams’ hat at the Grammys last year was clever and timely enough to boost business.
The Pepsi ad is yet another following the trend of satirizing the marketing agenda. Newcastle Beer did it in the Superbowl last year, and more and more brands are following suit. Viewers are entertained by the idea of a behind-the-scenes look into how a commercial gets made – or not made, in the case of Newcastle. The back-story behind this ad makes it a lot more interesting than just one long frame of a Pepsi glass.
Even though the ad was meant as an apology, its humor is shamelessly unapologetic. Hopefully Pepsi will accept Arby’s admission of guilt and forgive the mix-up.