Fast food chain Arby’s, has a deal with Pepsi. According to the Wall Street Journal, that deal requires the restaurant to feature Pepsi in at least two of its ads every year. But this year, Arby’s forgot.
The company was so busy with the launch of their new tag line, “we have the meats,” that Pepsi got left out. The Wall Street Journal says that Pepsi gave Arby’s a friendly reminder in October that they needed to feature Pepsi in one more television ad this year. But Arby’s already had their end of year ads ready to go.
Rob Lynch, Arby’s chief marketing officer, had to go to Fallon, Arby’s ad agency, and ask that they do something to include Pepsi in the end of year advertising. Lynch knew that request would be unpopular. He told the Wall Street Journal:
Their ads are kind of like their babies. To go in after we shot them and shoehorn something in is like the worst client move you could ever make.
Arby’s ad agency gets clever.
Business Week says that Matt Heath, Fallon’s creative director, came up with a clever idea. Heath explains, “People would notice if we just shoehorned a Pepsi product into a commercial. So we said, OK, what if we didn’t do it like that?”
When Fallon presented their ad to Arby’s they thought their days as Arby’s ad agency were numbered. Rocky Novak, Fallon’s managing director, says,
We thought we’d lost them because we were on this conference call and they were just laughing through the whole thing. But to their credit, they said yes. Pepsi said yes. It was pretty awesome in terms of the number of people who had to say yes to this thing.
The ad features a voice over by actor Ving Rhames, and, of course, PEPSI!
Here’s the ad:
Image via screen capture