What Coke, J.C. Penney and Other Advertisers Have Planned for the Oscars

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Pepsi Backs Out as Coke Returns as Soft Drink Sponsor

Pepsi’s reign as the exclusive soft-drink advertiser of the Academy Awards is over after just one year. Coca-Cola will replace its competitor this year and plans to run ads for Coke and Diet Coke during the broadcast on ABC, which is fetching as much as $2 million for 30-second ads.

Coca-Cola sat out last year’s broadcast after serving as the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage advertiser since 2006. But the cola giant lucked into free PR after its brand name was prominently featured on pizza boxes shown during the broadcast. The pizzas appeared as part of a bit by host Ellen DeGeneres and came from a Los Angeles pizzeria that is a Coke partner.

A PepsiCo spokeswoman told Ad Age on Tuesday that the free Coke plug did not play a role in Pepsi’s decision to stay out of this year’s broadcast on Feb. 22. As for last year, she said ABC “rectified the issue,” including giving the brand an unspecified number of make-good ads. “They addressed the situation and we have a really great situation with them at the network,” she added.

J.C. Penney will return for its 14th consecutive year, while General Motors, which took over as the exclusive auto advertiser from Hyundai in 2014, will continue to sponsor the telecast.

Samsung will also once again advertise in the awards show following its success last year. Samsung was one of the biggest winners of the 2014 Oscars following Ms. DeGeneres’ infamous selfie, which prominently featured the white Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The selfie has been retweeted more than 3 million times. This year’s show will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

Netflix, AT&T and Discover will also run commercials. Anheuser-Busch InBev is also back and is expected to break a new ad for Stella Artois.

Read more at AdvertisingAge