For only the second time in its 52-year history, the 2018 Super Bowl will be played in Minneapolis. The last and only other time Minnesota hosted, it was Super Bowl XXVI, on January 26, 1992: The Redskins played the Bills on CBS. John Madden and Pat Summerall called the game, which the Redskins won 37-24. The game’s rating was a 40.3. A :30 spot cost just $850,000.
One of the breakout stars of the 1992 game was Cindy Crawford, a 26-year old model. In an ad for Pepsi, Crawford pulled into a gas station in a Lamborghini to buy a can of soda. A pair of young boys watched the model step out of her car and gulp down a can of the soda and said, awestruck, “Is that a great new Pepsi can or what?”
Crawford was already a star in her own right. In 1998, she appeared in an estimated 500 different magazine issues, many of them as the featured cover model. She was the host of MTV’s House of Style beginning in 1989. But the Super Bowl spot launched her career in advertising as a spokesperson, and brought her increased name awareness. She told the Associated Press, “It was one of those moments in my career that when I walked down the street, people were like, ‘Pepsi!’ or I’d be at a bar and people would send me a Pepsi.”
She has enjoyed her role as Super Bowl advertising icon. As she told People magazine this month, “This time of year it always gets featured in the roundups of the Best Super Bowl Commercials ever, and every January I revisit my original Pepsi spot that I just love because the music was perfect and the little boys were perfect and it was just one of those commercials that everyone loved and it made people happy”.
Crawford has appeared for Pepsi several times since the 1992 spot. Ten years later, in 2002, she and the soda maker recreated the spot, with Crawford pulling into the gas station in an SUV this time, with her kids in car seats in the back. She is wearing the same denim cut offs in both spots, a fun fact she shared with People. Crawford also appeared in Pepsi spots in 2016.
Crawford is not the only celebrity to have worked for Pepsi. Since 1982, Pepsi’s Super Bowl ads have featured a slew of celebrities, including Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, Britney Spears, P. Diddy, and Bob Dole.
Pepsi has been a long-time supporter of the NFL and the Super Bowl. Between 2008 and 2017, Pepsi is estimated to have spent $174 million on media alone for their Super Bowl ads, making it the third-biggest Super Bowl advertiser in that time. In addition to media spend, Pepsi has also sponsored the halftime show every year since 2013.
Fast forward to this year, where ads are going for a reported $5 million for a :30, Justin Timberlake is back on the halftime stage, and Crawford is again stealing the show. The new Pepsi campaign will bring back icons from Pepsi’s long advertising history, and marks the return of Crawford’s 19-year old son Presley Gerber, who, like his mother, is also a model.