World’s best ads ever #82: Pepsi captures the spirit of a decade in just 60 seconds
We asked our readers to vote for their favorite commercials of all time. Top creatives from the World Creative Rankings and The Drum’s Judges’ Club then ranked the ads. Now, we bring you the definitive 100 best TV and video ads of all time.
Like a scene straight out of The Sandlot, this Pepsi ad starring then-supermodel Cindy Crawford is fuel for pure, unadulterated 90s nostalgia. The slow-motion walk to the vintage Pepsi vending machine, Crawford’s voluminous hairstyle, the kids’ slack-jawed expressions and pre-grunge wardrobe, the soundtrack… everything about the commercial screams early 90s, reminiscent of familiar themes from countless coming-of-age and romance movies that will permanently inhabit the brains of the millennials who grew up on them.
Originally screened during the 1992 Super Bowl, this iconic Pepsi ad starred Crawford — then in her 20s — and was a major marketing success for the soft drink company. The ad was created by BBDO New York and directed by Poe Pytka, who also directed Space Jam.
The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.
Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.Sign up
For almost the entirety of the one-minute duration of the TV spot — which promotes new cans for Pepsi and Diet Pepsi — two boys watch Crawford in amazement from behind a fence as she exits a Lamborghini, strolls over to a vending machine, and takes a long swig from a Pepsi. The punchline comes at the very end, when one of the boys remarks: “Is that a great new Pepsi can or what?”
Perhaps tapping into the wave of 90s nostalgia that has recently swept through the marketing world, Pepsi and Crawford recreated the iconic scene from 1992 in the brand’s 2018 Super Bowl ad.