Britney's ad put to a vote

By Theresa Howard, USA TODAY

Pepsi says you can go to to cast your vote for Britney’s ad.

PepsiCo’s $8 million Super Bowl ad investment for Pepsi will spotlight the pop appeal, but not necessarily the famed bellybutton, of entertainer Britney Spears.

The singer, known for her belly- and bust-baring outfits, will be costumed in the more demure fashions of yesteryear for most of a 90-second musical extravaganza set to run in the first quarter.

The second 30-second spot to run in the second quarter may be racier, but that will be up to consumers, who are invited to pick the ad online. That voting begins today.

The Pepsi ad package is fitting for a Super Bowl ad veteran: big-name celebrity and big music backed by big bucks.

And that’s what viewers of the Big Game want, says Michael Wolf, author of The Entertainment Economy. “The Super Bowl is a unique viewing experience. Consumers really do expect entertainment from the commercials.”

That’s especially important this year, he says, for viewers coping with tragedy, war and recession. “They want to be back to normal and feel like they are going to get the usual kind of Super Bowl experience.”

In the 90-second Pepsi ad, Britney travels through time. She reprises the look and jingles of Pepsi ads from the prim 1950s through today. The ad starts in black and white and ends in color.

Consumers will pick the second ad from among two set in other eras and one from today. Each of the 30-second ads is previewed on the Web site with scenes from the making of the ad. The winning ad in final form will be seen first in the game.

The Web voting marks the second year Pepsi and Yahoo teamed for an online Super Bowl ad effort.

Stops on Britney’s 90-second Pepsi time travels:

* Rock around the clock. Britney sings the jingle, “For those who think young,” in a 1950s diner.

* Good beat. Easy to dance to. American Bandstand is the setting for her rendition of the early 1960s jingle, “Come alive. You’re in the Pepsi generation.”

* Beach blanket bingo. Britney is cool on the beach with the mid-1960s theme: “The taste that beats the others cold. Pepsi pours it on.”

* Free music. Free love. A hippie Britney does the 1970 Woodstock-era Pepsi theme: “You’ve got a lot to live. Pepsi’s got a lot to give.”

* Talk about pop music. Pepsi borrows from its Robert Palmer-inspired ad from the 1980s to reprise Simply Irresistible. Britney replaces Palmer as the slick lead.

* Back to the future. Britney then segues into the current “Joy of Pepsi” jingle dressed head-to-toe in a fringed outfit.

PepsiCo’s Super Bowl presence also will include Lipton Brisk. It spent $4 million for two 30-second ads for its bottled tea brand.