Two days ago we saw Pepsi's viral ad featuring Jeff Gordon scaring the crap out of a car salesman. We all had a good laugh. Then we found out yesterday that Jeff Gordon wasn't even driving the car and everything was fake. We all felt a little betrayed. Guess what? It doesn't matter at all.
Pepsi only had one goal with this viral ad: Create buzz. They surely accomplished that. We posted the video on here since it was so much fun to watch, and so did countless other sites. Good Morning America (SHAMELESS PLUG: I was on Good Morning America to talk about this) and The Today Show discussed it this morning.
The ad went up on Tuesday, and it now has more than seven million views. That's the definition of buzz.
Also, the ad is a lot of fun. Pepsi has admitted they used a stunt driver and not Jeff Gordon, but they claim the salesman's/actor's reactions are totally, 100 percent authentic.
Y'know what? I believe that. Maybe the actor wasn't told what the exact stunt route was going to be. Maybe they picked someone who said he was scared of going really fast in a car. Maybe he's really damn good at pretending to be scared.
Whatever. It works. The guy looks scared and really sells it.
My Grandfather had a saying that is often repeated around my home: Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see. In many viral — and not viral — videos, there is a good amount of fakery. It became obvious here thanks to a few miscues as well as the high profile star of the video.
We all love Top Gear here. Guess what? There's a lot of fakery in Top Gear. Some parts are scripted, some are obvious pranks, and other times they're less than genuine. Does it make us hate Top Gear? No. No we don't.
You just need to realize that this is entertainment. They aren't trying to educate us. They aren't trying to con us. They're just trying to entertain us.
The Pepsi ad has done just that. And we're still freaking talking about it three days later. Kudos Pepsi.