This is a cool ad because it's the only American promotional material I've found for Pepsi's 1985 "Win a Transformer" contest giveaway. In the US the rules were simple-you bought a Pepsi with Optimus Prime graphics on it (you 'can' see a picture of one of these special cans at the bottom of this page) and if the tab had the word "WIN" on it you would go to your nearest Pepsi bottler and pick up a special Pepsi edition Optimus Prime. (You can see this ad in the Reading, PA newspaper it came from thanks to Google's newspaper archive.)
No discussion of Pepsi Prime would be complete without mention of the Canadian contest where the prize was an Optimus with a much larger trailer sticker that ran the length of the cab (you can see it on this page seven Optimus Primi down). In Canada the promotion was called "Transformers Trackdown" and it included a game where players collected bottle caps to complete a picture of Optimus Prime. A small graphic with one side of Optimus was printed underneath the bottle caps and players had to acquire both the left and right halves of Optimus to win. To the right is a picture of the more common bottle cap courtesy of my friend Colin who runs fairplaythings.com. Note the French/English bilingual text. The smaller text states the offer expires 2-28-86. (Optimus himself expired six months later.)
ROBOTS SIZZLED SO I GUZZLED, THEN THEY FIZZLED AND I WAS PUZZLED
I never won a Pepsi Prime when I was a kid but I don't remember trying. So Pepsi never got a chance back then to twist and pervert my love of Optimus into an addiction to their kidney caramelizer. I had to wait almost twenty years later to let them do that. I'm glad I got another shot. Hopefully Pepsi will keep alive their tradition of occasionally bringing me free Optimus Primes because ever since I turned 13 Santa Claus has been doing a really crappy job.
|Pence Foods 01/14/86||Mr. Ed's 08/24/86|
I found a couple of ads recently from food related establishments back in '86 who were giving away "Autobot Commander" Transformers. Although the stores differed, what they had in common was usually the robots were part of some random giveaway and multiples of these figures were raffled off along with some bicycles.
One ad was from a grocery store called Pence Foods doing a raffle where the second and third prizes were "Autobot Commander Transformers" and another one, from Mr. Ed's hamburger restaurant in Cumberland, Maryland, was part of a grand opening celebration. Mr. Ed's is the only ad I've found stating the prizes were furnished by Pepsi. I'm thinking that in addition to the "look under the cap and win a Transformer" contest they did, they also gave away cases of Optimus Primes to various vendors to give away as promotional items.
So there were probably lots of ways to score a Pepsi Prime beyond just the contest on the cans, which was the only official way I knew of. I say official because I had a friend whose dad worked for Pepsi and scored him one, in which case the only contest my friend had to win was the sperm lottery.