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Functional drinks win Super Bowl ads

PepsiCo, Coca-Cola pay big to tout six energy beverages

United States The big winner of last month's Super Bowl XLII, the United States' premiere sporting event, may have been the functional-beverages sector. Commercials for the big game usually tend toward beer and cars, but notable in this game's ad breaks were the advertisements for six different functional beverages — all of them either PepsiCo or Coca-Cola properties.

The drinks included PepsiCo's SoBe Life Water, a vitamin-packed drink that comes in trendy superfruit flavours such as pomegranate and tangerine (pitched to the masses with dancing lizards and model Naomi Campbell dancing to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'); Diet Pepsi Max, a no-calorie cola sweetened with aspartame and ace-K, and powered with 46mg caffeine per 8oz and a hint of ginseng; Pepsi's Amp Energy Jumpstart with ginseng, taurine, guarana, B vitamins and maltodextrin; Gatorade and its new G2; and Coca-Cola's single entrant, Vitamin Water, featuring the 7ft,1-inch-tall, 375lb basketball star Shaquille O'Neal as a jockey.

Thirty-second ads for the most-watched TV show of the year cost $2.7 million — and that doesn't count the expense of hiring talents such as O'Neal.

"It's all about the buzz,? PepsiCo North America spokesperson Nicole Bradley told Fi. "The Super Bowl offers an incredible opportunity to showcase our products on the world's biggest stage. At no other time will we have a more captive audience — people pay more attention to Super Bowl ads than to the ads they see at any other time during the year.?

Bradley would not share cost figures for the Pepsi ad buy.

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