Behind the Scenes at the Big Game


The Kansas City Chiefs weren’t the only winners at the Big Game of American football. Kellogg’s popular Pringles® and Pop-Tarts® brands also wowed fans around the world with fun, new advertising. This was the first time that two Kellogg brands advertised during one of the annual most-watched television broadcasts. Pringles® showcased an interdimensional universe of flavor stacking featuring characters from the popular show Rick & Morty, while Pop-Tarts® “fixes” the pretzel in their hilarious ad featuring reality star Jonathan Van Ness. To learn more about what it takes to this premiere level of advertising to life, Kellogg Careers talked with three colleagues who helped create this year’s ads:

Phil Schaffer
Senior Commercial Director, Pop-Tarts


Gareth Maguire
Senior Marketing Director, Pringles


Sam Gach
Manager, Social Media Engagement


“Advertising in an event like this is high stakes,” said Gareth. “It’s the only place where ads are critiqued by commentators, pundits and consumers for days before and after the event. Having worked in Europe for most of my career, I’ve seen U.K. Christmas ads come close, but this is definitely the biggest advertising stage.”

pringles ads

The Pringles and Pop-Tarts team gathered together in New York City to monitor and engage social reactions to the ads!

“We were excited to learn from Pringles’ experiences advertising in the Big Game for the past two years,” said Phil. “It’s real out-of-the-box thinking to launch a new product from an iconic America brand in this venue. The response to Pretzel Pop-Tarts has been tremendous.”

“As the social media lead for Pop-Tarts and contributor to the TV spot, getting to see our commercial live from the Twitter office in New York with other advertisers and engaging online in real time with brands, celebrities and consumers, was one of the highlights of my career so far,” said Sam.

“People may not realize the amount of work that goes into this level of advertising,” said Gareth. “We’ve been working on this for almost a year now. Our ‘Pickle Rick’ flavor partnership with Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty™, and its intense fandom, was an exciting new twist on Pringle’s advertising and flavor stacking.”

“There are a lot of moving pieces to manage with a marketing program of this scale. It’s an honor to lead such a big brand, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility,” said Phil. “Courage is something we ask of all our employees; fortunately, it’s something I’ve always embraced. I’m always willing to think big and take fact-based risks. Being a new advertiser for the Big Game was one of those risks and it certainly paid off.”

Phil license plate

Phil’s license plate proves his love for Pop-Tarts!

Pop-Tarts is a fun and beloved brand that is very popular on social media,” said Sam. “Advertising in this event gave us the opportunity to engage with millions of people before, during and after the game. This is the type of opportunity I only dreamed of when I started my career as a marketer.”

"I spent 10 years in the retail food business before joining Kellogg. Since then, I’ve worked in Germany, Sweden, Eastern Europe and at our European headquarters in Dublin,” said Phil. “Coming to our global headquarters in the U.S. to lead the Pop-Tarts brand and help create its biggest ad spot ever is the culmination of all my work experience combined.”

“My career has to date been in Europe and the Middle Eastern markets until relocating to our headquarters in Michigan last summer to lead the U.S. Pringle’s brand, so this is my first time experiencing the championship game of American football,” said Gareth. “I’ve always sought out assignments that teach me new things. I’ll certainly never forget this one!”