Yesterday I saw a commercial that made an impact on me. Maybe I can even go a little deeper and say that it inspired me. But I am hesitant to go that far just because there is nothing stereotypically inspiring about it, yet for some reason I just got that feeling of wanting to do something great when I watched it.
Pepsi Max teamed up with a European illusionist/street magician named Dynamo to create quite the ad. The commercial starts off with a few shots of London while Dynamo talks about how he enjoys the city but how it is important to not get too caught up in everything and risk not noticing the magic that exists all around. He then walks about to a double decker bus, looks above, and then floats up to the second deck and levitates at that spot. With one hand supporting himself against the bus and his other hand grasping onto a phone that is taking video, he goes on a joy ride through a London street, sending onlookers into a frenzy.
I definitely get that many of you won’t find that inspiring. For me it is kind of tough to explain but I have a few ideas on why it makes me feel this way. I think just the plain sight of seeing some guy floating by the side of a bus in the middle of the day is such an extraordinary occurrence that you can’t help but acknowledge the absurdity, yet complete awesomeness, of the act. Then you have the reaction of the people. Everyone whips out their iPhones, people run after the bus, expressions of complete amazement take over the faces of the crowd. Then you have just the nonchalant demeanor of Dynamo throughout the whole ad. From the time before he levitates, to the actual trip on the side of the bus, to him walking away he just does it all in such a cool manner.
But the goal of this post is not for me to convince you to get inspired about this ad. Rather, I just want my readers to see what a great commercial looks like.
Pepsi Max did an amazing, award-winning job creating this commercial, pure marketing gold. Inspired or not, most will admit that the concept is pretty cool. Come on, who doesn’t get a little intrigued about a guy levitating on a bus through London? Then you got the story built in about recognizing the magic around you, looking at all different perspectives, and of course, the Live For Now theme. Which brings me to my next point, the use of the hash tag (#LiveForNow) throughout the whole commercial and the way that the ad reflected that hash tag was done exceptionally. Then the way that the ad incorporated the people on the street did nothing but add even more value to the marketing objectives of Pepsi Max. Can you imagine all the people who caught video of the stunt and then posted it throughout social media? I also felt Pepsi Max featured their product just enough. You had the “Pepsi Max Presents” notation right at the start and the #LiveForNow hash tag throughout the whole thing but the coolest part of seeing the product was at the end where Dynamo takes out the Pepsi Max can and slyly takes a sip. Product recognition achieved!
Pepsi Max is also surely smiling with the controversy that has surrounded the ad. Illusion experts, internet junkies, and people with no life spent countless hours trying to figure out how the stunt was pulled off and then doing all they could to inform the public that the illusion was a fake. Well……yeah….don’t we all know that illusions are fake? It is just the appreciation of seeing someone make something so impossible look real. But go ahead and keep debunking it, Pepsi Max isn’t going to stop you.
So after watching this commercial did I grab for a Pepsi Max? Of course not, I hate soda. But it did get me to think favorably about the brand and it even got me to write this blog post. Marketing is just as much about good PR and positive brand association as it is about selling product. Well done, Pepsi Max. Don’t Blink.