PepsiCo scores with “Unretirement” NFL campaign

(Courtesy Superprime)

As football season kicks off, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay and Beverages brands are making a big play with their 2023 NFL Kickoff campaign, aptly titled “Unretirement.”

This star-studded TV commercial, directed by Rick Famuyiwa of Superprime Films, envisions a world where iconic NFL players come out of retirement, only to find that things don’t quite go as planned.

The ad features a cast of current and former NFL legends, including Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Dan Marino, Randy Moss, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and the newest addition to the PepsiCo lineup, Josh Allen. Together, they showcase the sheer joy of enjoying football alongside delicious Frito-Lay snacks and PepsiCo beverages.

The creative cleverly plays with the concept of “unretirement,” a trend that sees retired athletes returning to the field. It explores humorous scenarios where these iconic players, tempted by the irresistible taste of Lay’s chips and Pepsi Zero Sugar, attempt a comeback. From Dan Marino using reading glasses to read play call wristbands to Emmitt Smith dozing off on the bench, the ad provides plenty of laughs. Watch below:


Greg Lyons, Chief Marketing Officer of PepsiCo Beverages North America, highlighted the synergy between PepsiCo’s brands and the gameday experience. He emphasized that the campaign aims to amplify the excitement of watching football while enjoying the company’s snacks and beverages.

For Josh Allen, this campaign marks his first appearance as part of a multi-year partnership with PepsiCo. He expressed his excitement about sharing the screen with football greats like Dan Marino and being a part of their “unretirement” experience.

The commercial made its debut on Sunday, September 10th, and will continue to air throughout the NFL season. This campaign builds on the long-standing relationship between PepsiCo and the NFL, emphasizing the brands’ integral role in the gameday experience.

PepsiCo’s “Unretirement” campaign demonstrates that football, snacks, and beverages are a winning combination, capturing the excitement of the game and making fans feel like they’re right back on the field with their favorite players.


CLIENT: PepsiCo Beverages North America

  • Greg Lyons (Chief Marketing Officer)
  • Stacy Taffet (Vice President)
  • Greg Herman (Marketing Director)
  • Amanda Mendel Zamore (Marketing Director)
  • Lizzy Hlad (Marketing Manager)
  • Emily Tobias (Marketing Manager)
  • Caitlin Winsor (Marketing Director)
  • Melissa Duhaime (Marketing Director)
  • Sophia Omuemu (Marketing Manager)
  • Nora Quartaro (Communications Director)
  • Kristen Mueller (Communications Director)
  • Ali Meade (Communications Director)
  • Taylor Heath (Communications Manager)
  • Mireya Iglesias-Ayala (Analyst)
  • Michael Lazar (Marketing)
  • David Wexler (Legal)
  • Carolyn Fazzinga (Legal)
  • Jill Bilotta (Legal)
  • Kelly Lasaponara (Legal)
  • Gary White (Associate Manager)


  • Chris Bellinger (Vice President)
  • Tammy Schilling (Creative Director)
  • Katheryn Renfroe (Creative Director)
  • Eric Snodgrass (Creative Director)
  • Nick Scott (Creative Director)
  • Rich Rodriguez (Marketing Director)
  • Elizabeth Baldwin (Account Director)
  • Madelyn Bane (Account Supervisor)
  • Dan Watson (Producer)
  • James Clarke (Social Director)
  • Ruchie Singh (Social Director)
  • Lauren Kozar (Social Director)


  • Laura Sipes (Vice President)
  • Katelyn Krommenhoek (Analyst)

Direct Focus, Inc

  • Barry Rosen (Founder)

Frito Lay USA

  • Brett O’Brien (Chief Marketing Officer)
  • Tina Mahal (Vice President)
  • James Wade (Marketing Director)
  • Kyle Ahrendsen (Marketing Manager)
  • Spencer Bryson (Marketing Manager)
  • Echo Li (Marketing Manager)
  • Lindsey Smith (Communications Manager)
  • Dan Cohen (Legal)
  • Natalie Stormer (Legal)
  • Jeanette Zimmer (Legal)
  • Marie Tsang (Media Manager)

AGENCY – Ketchum

  • Manuela Gould (Vice President)
  • Natalie Houck-Meloni (Account Handling)
  • Kelsey Kolisek (Account Handling)
  • Katharine Morey (Account Executive)
  • Javen Joerger (Account Executive)
  • Eden McColl (Account Executive)


  • Zach Garbiso (Planning Director)
  • Valentina Cooper (Planning Director)


  • Rick Famuyiwa (Director)
  • Rebecca Skinner (Managing Director)
  • Michelle Ross (Managing Director)
  • Kate Leahy (Executive Producer)
  • Matt Sanders (Head of Production)
  • William Green (Producer)

PRODUCTION – The Mill Los Angeles

  • Matt Fuller (Executive Creative Director)
  • Anastasia Von Rahl (Managing Director)
  • Mari Suarez (Producer)
  • Noan John Vinod (Producer)
  • Abby Siegel (Associate Producer)
  • John Leonti (Supervisor)
  • Lane Jolly (2D Lead)
  • Zsolt Krajcsik (3D Lead)

POST / VFX – The Den Editorial

  • Christian Jordan (Editor)
  • Jake Swartz (Editor)
  • Jennifer Mersis (Executive Producer)
  • Kristina Thoegersen (Head of Production)
  • Jessica Davis (Producer)

POST / VFX – The Mill Los Angeles

  • Bill Lu (Matte Painting)
  • Paul Yacono (Colourist)
  • Denise Brown (Colour Producer)


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