Pepsi premieres 2020 international football campaign with action-packed commercial directed by award-winning filmmaker

Pepsi is premiering its 2020 international football campaign in celebration of its ongoing partnership with the UEFA Champions League. Featuring a never-before-seen collaboration of four of the world’s best footballers, the campaign is led by a fast-paced, sharply-styled commercial guaranteed to excite football fans around the globe.

This year, the softdrinks brand welcomes two new players to its impressive roster of football talent. World champion Paul Pogba, and Manchester City’s domestic quadruple sensation, Raheem Sterling, join returning stars, six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Leo Messi, and reigning UEFA Champions League victor, Mohamed Salah.

The four players go head to head in the international ad entitled, “Play Never Stops”, showcasing otherworldly skill and agility as they battle it out for the last can of Pepsi.

The brand enlisted award-winning film producer and director Henry Scholfield, best known for creating iconic music videos for top artists, to direct the ad. “Play Never Stops” features a creative mash-up of swag-arrific storytelling in quick-fire cuts that show fans just how far the players will go for the delicious taste of Pepsi.

“It was a privilege to work with such superstar players on this year’s Pepsi football ad,” said Scholfield. “Each delivered an excellently accentuated version of their off-the-pitch personality to the spot, as naturally and skillfully as they would on the field. Pepsi, our creative team, and all of our post-production partners were awesome collaborators to work with. Each of them smashed it on every level, making the film the epic piece it is.”

This year’s commercial features the Latin song, “Presidente,” which is of-the-moment, fast, fun and full of energy, much like the 2020 Pepsi football campaign. The track by emerging artist/producer WOST featuring singer Ginette Claudette demonstrates the brand’s commitment to supporting next-level music talent.

The campaign will be activated in more than 80 countries worldwide and sits under the brand’s international platform and tagline, ‘PEPSI, FOR THE LOVE OF IT’, which launched last year and encourages fans to go all-in for the things they love. The international campaign also boasts behind-the-scenes content, a collection of limited-edition player-themed cans, and out-of-home and in-store point of sale materials across Pepsi and Pepsi Black (also known as Pepsi MAX in select markets around the world).

“As ever, being a part of the Pepsi football campaign has been so much fun. With a new team of players, exciting challenges, and a fun and creative film, the campaign will definitely not disappoint,” Leo Messi said.

“I am buzzing to be a part of the Pepsi football squad! This year’s ad is packed full of great energy, with a true mash-up of music, fashion and most importantly, amazing football skills,” added Raheem Sterling.

While filming the 2020 football ad, Pepsi captured the players showing off their hidden talents for the #PepsiCanBalance Challenge including Pogba perfectly balancing his limited-edition can on the edge of a glass and Sterling impressing crew members by balancing his can on his famous right foot. Salah and Messi follow suit, with Salah achieving the Can Balance on a football, and Messi’s steady hands balancing two cans simultaneously. The players inspired influencers and football fans to replicate the #PepsiCanBalance Challenge for themselves.

The campaign’s limited-edition packaging, which features all four players across Pepsi and Pepsi Black / MAX cans, offers a new interactive experience for football lovers. Fans can bring their packs to life through QR codes found on selected cans and unlock the opportunity to interact with mini augmented reality versions of Messi, Salah, Pogba, and Sterling. When scanned, consumers can play a keepie-uppie game with their favourite players and share their scores to Instagram Stories.

Natalia Filippociants, Vice President, Marketing, Global Beverages, PepsiCo added: “We are so excited to be launching this lively and upbeat campaign. We’ve taken some of the best football players, incorporated their cultural influences off the pitch, and put them in unconventional situations with unexpected twists and turns, with plenty of laughter and swagger.

“Our aim was to play with the energy of the ad and to entertain people, rather than show people being entertained. Hopefully, our fans will enjoy these ‘Play Never Stops’ stories as much as we enjoyed making them!”

Pepsi is a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League.

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