Two HBCU bands will be getting their shine thanks to a new ad from Pepsi! The ad is a win not only for Florida A&M University‘s Marching 100 and for Jackson State University‘s Sonic Boom of the South, but for all HBCU bands. Get the full story from Garfield Hylton at the Orlando Sentinel below.

The FAMU and B-CU marching bands are part of the appeal of the annual Florida Classic at the Citrus Bowl. (Credit: Donald Montague/Orlando Sentinel)

Pepsi and FAMU worked together to shoot the first-ever ad highlighting HBCU band culture for one of the biggest college football games of the season.

The 60-second ad is called “The Halftime Game,” according to a PepsiCo press release.

HBCU album Alan Ferguson directed the ad in partnership with the Creators League, Pepsi’s in-house studio led by Lou Arbetter.

The ad features FAMU and Jackson State Unversity’s band while highlighting “the electricity and history they bring to game day,” according to the press release.

Pepsi spent more than $3 million on the ad, which is set to run across media for the Southwest Atlantic Conference (SWAC), ABC’s Celebration BOWL, and other national media outlets throughout the end of December.

“This ad campaign provides a fitting showcase for two exceptional music programs,” said Dr. Shelby Chipman, FAMU Director of Bands. “Our marching band students are committed to excellence in the classroom and performing on the field. This campaign celebrates their dedication and talent. Fans of the incomparable Marching ‘100′ will be pleased.”

PepsiCo says the ad illustrates their commitment to racial equality, according to the press release.

In 2020, as part of the company’s Racial Equality Journey, they announced a commitment of more than $570 million over the next five years to “elevate diverse voices within the company, supply chain partners, and communities, while helping to address issues of inequality and create opportunity,” according to the press release.

The Florida A&M “Marching 100” performs during the Battle of the Bands at the Amway Center on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 in Orlando, Fla. (Credit: Chasity Maynard/Orlando Sentinel)

Dr. Roderick Little, JSU Director of Bands, called the ad “an outstanding opportunity for our students, band, and university, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge what this affiliation means for all HBCU band programs regarding exposure that could garner the support of future donors and corporate sponsors.”

Dr. Little added his belief that the future was bright for HBCU band programs because of opportunities like Pepsi provided.

FAMU will play Jackson State University in the championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday in Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi.