The Latest: Pepsi plays the underdog in Coke’s hometown

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the ads of the 2019 Super Bowl (all times Eastern Time):

7:30 p.m.

Coke has homefield advantage this year with the Super Bowl in Atlanta, where it is headquartered. So, Pepsi is trying to have fun with its perennial challenger brand status.

Actor Steve Carrell takes a flustered waiter to task for asking the familiar question, “is Pepsi ok?” after a woman orders a Coke. Cardi B and Lil John pitch in for the message that Pepsi isn’t just “ok.” IT’S OK!!

Pepsi has started the war early on the streets of Atlanta. Billboards all around the city call for Pepsi to “paint the town blue” and announce “Pepsi in Atlanta — how refreshing.”

Coke owns the “pouring rights” at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Its products are for sale at the fountains during the game between the Patriots and Rams, served in NFL-themed Super Bowl cups.

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7 p.m.

Women’s empowerment has swiftly taken center stage in this year’s Super Bowl ads.

Hulu kicked off the theme with a first quarter ad for its next season of the feminist show “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Next, Serena Williams appeared as spokeswoman for Bumble, which bills itself as a feminist dating app where women make the first move. The tennis icon urges women not to wait to be given power, saying, “we already have it.”

Later in the evening, supermodel Karlie Kloss will play up her identity as a businesswoman in an ad for Wix.com. She wears an understated green T-shirt to show how she used the platform to create her professional website.

Toyota will highlight the perseverance of Antoinette “Toni” Harris, a female football player at a California community college.

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6:30 p.m.

Super Bowl Sunday is kicking off. Prepare to be entertained… by the ads.

Each year’s slate of Super Bowl ads offer a snapshot of the American psyche. Forty-plus brands have shelled out millions for the chance to win over live-TV viewers of Super Bowl 53 with a combination of humor, celebrities and heartfelt messages.

The ads run from silly to the serious. Avocados from Mexico features a pet show where the humans get judged, while The Washington Post will honor missing and slain journalists in its Super Bowl debut.

They’re aiming to capture the attention of the 100 million viewers expected to tune in on Sunday. Many marketers have already released their ads online but there will still be a few surprises from Google, Bud Light and others.

Categories: National News