Starting (approximately) around Halloween 1991, Pepsi and their longtime partner in crime, Doritos began a promotion using our favorite Universal Monsters. Appearing on many different bags of Doritos and Pepsi packaging were Frankenstein and his Bride, The Wolfman, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, and even The Invisible Man decided to show his face for a special occasion. And what an occasion it was. A special "match game"which enlisted help of these crazy monsters.
Each bag of Doritos or carton of Pepsi gave you two game cards in a small package and the goal was to find two of the same corresponding cards to win a cash prize between 5 dollars to a cool million. And that's 1991 million we're talking. That's not too shabby. That could've bought a bought of neon Zubaz pants! The cards themselves weren't too bad of a prize either. The game cards were really cool looking. They were little dollar bills with the monsters faces on them in different denominations. They're pretty cool collectibles too. Check out what a dollar could've looked like:
So, ok, it's not a perfect bill, but searches for a perfect pairing were not too successful. But use your imagination. What your looking at is what two separate game cards would've looked like. Not bad, eh? Each card had their own prize to chase after. Frankenstein, being the big daddy, would've landed you a cool mill, while his beautiful Bride would've only landed you 500. There's something there about Pepsi being sexist I'm sure, but I'll leave for experts to dissect. In the meantime, check out the fun commercial they put together for the game. I don't know that Frank should be allowed to enter, considering it's his face on the bag and everything else, but you try telling him that and see how many appendages you have afterwards.
The promotion, naturally, hit Universal Studios theme parks as well. I only know this because I actually found a cup using the artwork that was used on a promotional poster for Pepsi. I'm guessing there are others, but Frankenstein always appealed to me, so I picked this one up you see below.
The Universal Monsters would stick around for promoting Pepsi and Doritos for a few years following this, but it wasn't as cool. Trading cards were given away and the monsters found themselves as trayliners for Pepsi 24 packs with awesome art in party motifs, but the novelty was gone. And by 1994, the relationship was done. I'm guessing this was a one shot deal and it was such a success all parties decided to stretch it out but it didn't go as well as they'd hope. Shame too. Because I feel it could've been a fun Halloween tradition for all involved.
Here's a sample of Universal Monsters/Pepsi/Doritos goodness from various years between 1991 and 1993:
|Coupons. I'm assuming from a magazine, but don't know which one.|
|Fully Constructed Diet Pepsi carton|
|Various Pepsi and Diet Pepsi Cartons|
|Pepsi trayliner. Other monsters would appear in images like this.|
|Shopping bag from WaWa.|
|Posters like this were apparently given away, but not too many exist. Photo courtesy of The Universal Monster Army website.|
So, there you have it. As I said, I always enjoy one time promo deals. And this was definitely a once in a lifetime deal. I doubt you'll see a promotion like this but it was cool when it did happen. Personally, I'd love to see something like this again, but if it doesn't, I'm just glad to see it when it did happen.