Yesterday Pepsi released an ad featuring Jeff Gordon terrifying a used car salesman by taking him on a vomit inducing test drive. Like any of these videos, it's a fun watch... if a little fake. But it's actually way faker than we initially thought: Jeff Gordon did not drive the car and every single person in the video was an actor.
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After watching the video a number of times, a few little things started to jump out at me that just didn't sit right. I spoke to someone who was on site during the filming of the video, and they confirmed that nearly everything you saw on screen was fake.
Let's break it down one by one:
- The car on the lot has a sticker that says '09' on the windshield. That means it's a 2009 Camaro. The problem is that there wasn't a Camaro made in 2009. At all. 2010 was the first year. A closer inspection will show that the Camaro has a 2013 interior (2013 is the first year with nav) and the brand new five spoke wheels. That makes this car brand new.
- Also inside the Camaro is a random cupholder placed above the vents. That cupholder definitely doesn't exist in a new Camaro... or really any other car. There is also a V8 soundtrack. This car is definitely a V6.
- The car is sitting right outside the dealership when it sets out. If you look at the area where the car sets out from, there sure are a lot of tire marks like repeated burnouts were done there. My source that was on site told me that was because they did multiple takes for everything.
- There is one "salesman" from Troutman Motors — where the ad was filmed — named "Steve" featured in the video. "Steve" is the only Troutman Motors "employee" who doesn't have his face blurred out, meaning he would have signed a release to be in the video, since filming without discretion is illegal in most states. I called Troutman Motors to speak with Steve. Guess what? He was "unavailable." Wayne Troutman of the dealership told me that they are currently under non-disclosure and cannot comment on the video at all. But our source that was there told me that "Steve" was an actor. Who else offers a test drive within eight seconds of meeting someone in a car they aren't interested in?
- During the entire drive, there isn't one shot of Jeff Gordon driving the car. We see him put the camera in at the beginning and turn it towards the passenger. At the end when he parks the car, the camera is suddenly back on Gordon. That's because Gordon didn't drive the car, according to our tipster. A report in Concord, NC's Independent Tribune verifies what our insider told me: "Racer Brad Noffsinger, who works with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, did the stunt work for the production." I have no doubt that Gordon is an excellent driver, but I was told that Noffsinger did all of the slides, burnouts, and other stunt driving for the film.
And there you have it, an exciting ad and a really fun watch. It's just too bad that it's also really duplicitous.