Supplier Spotlights: Big Game Edition

Barcel USA, Frito-Lay North America, Mars Wrigley and Pepsi Co. will all be running campaigns during Super Bowl LVII.
Amanda Koprowski
Associate Editor
Amanda Koprowski profile picture

NATIONAL REPORT — While it's important for convenience store retailers to market themselves, new products, services, promotions and other initiatives by c-store suppliers are a major part of capturing consumer interest. Convenience Store News will regularly highlight such efforts in this roundup.

With the Super Bowl providing one of the biggest advertising spotlights of the year, numerous brands are running special campaigns for the NFL's championship game, which will see the Kansas City Chiefs square off against the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 12. Here are a few of the suppliers doing so:

Takis Logo

Barcel USA

As part of the leadup to Sunday's big game, spicy rolled tortilla brand Takis is participating in basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal's larger-than-life event, Shaq's Fun House, on Friday, Feb. 10 in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

The evening will feature a performance by O'Neal as DJ Diesel, with the ending of the set "Letting The Heat Drop," which will cause Takis snacks to rain from the sky. 

For those in attendance, Takis will also host a custom Takis Fuego Zone, which comes complete with a custom snack bar and carnival ride. The event will also allow distant fans to join in via livestream by texting "Takis" to 80160.

"There is no one that represents all things intensity better than Shaquille O'Neal, so to be part of his Fun House experience was an opportunity we could not turn down," said Sandra Kirkpatrick, marketing director for Takis. "We are thrilled to be the only live streaming partner at the event and we cannot wait to Let The Heat Drop this big game weekend."

Walter and Jesse in Popcorners Breaking Good Ad

Frito-Lay North America 

Frito-Lay North America will be running numerous ads and providing on-site events during football's big night in order to highlight some of its most popular brands. The company recruited a bevy of well-known talent to support their campaigns, most notably the cast and crew of "Breaking Bad," who will be reviving characters from the critically acclaimed show in PopCorners Popped-Corn Snack's first Super Bowl commercial. 

"Bringing PopCorners to the Super Bowl stage for the first time is a tremendous moment for a brand on the rise," said Brett O'Brien, chief marketing officer at Frito-Lay North America. "We're showcasing why fans love this air-popped, never-fried snack in an exciting and unexpected way through the lens of two characters who could've used their talents to 'Break Into Something Good.'"   

PopCorners brought the ad to life with the help of actors Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Raymond Cruz, reprising their roles as Walter White, Jesse Pinkman and Tuco Salamanca respectively. The brand brought on "Breaking Bad" creator, head writer, executive producer and director Vince Gilligan to help reimagine certain iconic scenes and incorporate series elements into the spot, such as Walter's infamous RV and Tuco's wardrobe. 

"Breaking Good" will premiere on TV during Super Bowl LVII in the first commercial break of the third quarter. 

In addition to the in-game advertisement from PopCorners, Frito-Lay has a second Super Bowl spot from Doritos, which encourages fans to "Try Another Angle." So far, Doritos has released three different teasers building up to the game. 

Doritos originally announced its 23rd year at the Super Bowl with a nondescript photo of a superstar's hand. The brand invited fans toguess whose hand it might be appearing in the Doritos' commercial, with some getting it right: six-time Grammy-nominated rapper Jack Harlow.

In the "Paparazzi" teaser,  Harlow is seen being swarmed by fans and cameras with one paparazzi demanding answers on his rumored love triangle, but the answer will only be found in the snack's game day ad, which will also feature Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Elton John and Missy Elliot. 

"Doritos has a long history of surprising fans with the unexpected through bold Super Bowl commercials," said Jess Spaulding, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo Foods Canada. "We're thrilled to bring this campaign to Canada for the Super Bowl."

Fans also received an opportunity to win an appearance alongside Harlow in the commercial by checking out the dance moves from @vibin.wit.tay and sharing their own best triangle-inspired dance on TikTok.

Finally, Frito-Lay and PepsiCo Beverages will also include on-site experiences in Phoenix, where fans can snap a selfie next to the "World's Largest PopCorner," run across the turf at the Cheetos Motel Touchdown Catch, sample bites at the Lay's Ice Cream Truck and grab a meal at Tostitos’ first pop-up restaurant, Tost by Tostitos. Reservations at the latter can be made for lunch or dinner through Feb. 11 at

M&M's Spokecandies Shadows on Football Field

Mars Wrigley

In the leadup to its Super Bowl campaign, M&M'S announced that its spokescandies would be "taking an indefinite pause" and that award-winning actress, musician and producer Maya Rudolph would be the star of its Super Bowl LVII commercial. 

Since then, Rudolph has implemented a number of changes to the brand, including renaming the candy to Ma&Ya's and adding her face to the outer shell. She has also introduced a clam-flavored M&M, though fan response seems to have sensed something fishy with the innovation.

Meanwhile, the M&M'S spokescandies have been exploring outside passions before returning to their official roles after the big game. Orange is now a meditation content host on Spotify, doing his best to help others find inner peace. Yellow found a new home as the face of the Snickers brand, telling the world on Instagram and on stands in the latest issue of People. Brown became a guest host at Cheddar News, offering her perspective on representation in business, while Purple spent time working with vocal coach Cheryl Porter to create music on TikTok and Instagram. Blue became a sports commentator and Red capitalized on his long-tenured fame, creating his own eBay store to sell M&M'S collectibles. Finally, Green partnered with streetwear creator Jazerai Allen-Lord to create her very first sneaker design.

The M&M'S 30-second spot, produced by BBDO New York, will air during the third commercial break in the second quarter of Super Bowl LVII.

Ben Stiller and Steve Martine Pose with Pepsi Zero Sugars

PepsiCo Beverages

Two renowned actors, Steve Martin and Ben Stiller, will star in two Pepsi Zero Sugar "Great Acting or Great Taste?" campaign commercials, the brand's first Super Bowl advertisements in three years. 

The new campaign pokes fun at the traditional transactional relationship between advertisers and celebrities, which is never more present than during the Super Bowl. The spots will challenge consumers to decide for themselves if the actors' love for the taste of new Pepsi Zero Sugar is just acting or if the relaunched soda really tastes that great.

With consumer test results revealing that people prefer the taste of the new Pepsi Zero Sugar to the old formula, Pepsi plans to go all in on the diet soda in 2023. Martin and Stiller will each appear in their own commercial, the first time for each to star in a Super Bowl ad. The two commercials were directed by cult favorite comedian of Lonely Island fame Jorma Taccone, who also makes his official Super Bowl debut. 

"Consumers today are skeptical towards advertising, often unsure of what is real and what is just acting, which is magnified on advertising's biggest night, the Super Bowl, when brands bring in actors and celebrities to help pitch their products," said Todd Kaplan, chief marketing officer at Pepsi. "Since we just launched our upgraded Pepsi Zero Sugar product with a new and improved taste, we wanted to flip this norm on its head, stoking a conversation about what is real and what is acting with two iconic actors in their own right."

"I love that I'm working with my mortal enemy, Ben Stiller," Martin said. "Doing a Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl commercial is an honor next only to being a quarterback — no tackling."

The brand will continue its offer of up to 10 million free cans and bottles – which launched during the NFL playoffs last month – so fans can try it out for themselves. Fans can text "FREE ZERO" to 81234 to comp a free soda.

The "Great Acting or Great Taste?" spots will launch on national television during Super Bowl LVII, with Pepsi inviting fans on Twitter to use the hashtag #RealorActing as they view and comment on the commercials that air during the game.