In this commercial from the later part of the eighties, we see world-famous Chef Paul Prudhomme making some of the food that made him famous AND enjoying an ice-cold Pepsi. I never saw this commercial as a kid. It is one of those wonderful targeted pieces of advertising, the “regional” commercial. The target here? “The South” and its “Southern Generation”.
Specifically this seems to be focusing on New Orleans. Which invites the follow-up question. Did they make even more targeting sub-regional commercials for other areas of the American South? Did those commercials feature regionalisms that would make sense to their constituents or was the zydeco music and food of New Orleans enough to convince a person in Georgia or Arkansas to switch to Pepsi? I did some searching and found nothing, but I would like to think that those ads are floating around somewhere. If you grew up in an area that was part of the Southern Generation and remember a different ad, or saw this one, I would love to hear about it.
Besides the New Orleans focused stuff. We do get a mention of the now extinct 3 liter bottle. For those not aware of the existence of this monster, you missed out on a real problematic product. Besides being too huge to fit in places you stored your 2 liters in the fridge, it also presented you with a volume of liquid that once opened began to degrade rapidly enough that you are left with a reduced carbonated mess unless you drink 3 liters of soda within 48 hours. No matter how tight I made that giant cap, it never seemed to last longer than that. Oh well, I digress.
Watch the Pepsi Southern Generation Commercial
It is a shame that this didn’t run in my neck of the woods. As a kid growing up in New Jersey, the south was as exotic and far away as another continent and I was often intrigued by things that seemed out of reach. While this might not have guaranteed a switch to Pepsi (we were a Coke household), it would have certainly intrigued me and probably would have left me thinking that everyone in the “South” spent their days cooking spicy food and drinking their Pepsi with waaaaaay too much ice. I mean look at how much ice this guy is using. I hope that soda is not at room temperature or that is going to turn into some watery Pepsi.