Yes, Pepsi’s self-deprecating Super Bowl ad really is OK

Thank goodness Pepsi has gone back to working with an ad agency. The soft drinks giant may never live down the in-house Kendall Jenner debacle, but thanks to Goodby Silverstein, this year’s Super Bowl ad is really very good.

It starts with a woman asking for a Coke. “Is Pepsi OK?” the waiter asks, apologetically. Actor Steve Carell leaps in to deliver the message that Pepsi is way more than OK. “Are puppies OK? Is a shooting star OK? Is the laughter of a small child OK?” Singer Cardi B and rapper Lil Jon back him up in style.

There’s a distinctive idea and some great casting, particularly Carell, who plays the David Brent character in the US version of The Office, and also stars in some excellent films (Vice, Foxcatcher, The Big Short).

Last year, a chastened Pepsi put together a nostalgic mash up of old ads (plus an updated Cindy Crawford moment) for the Super Bowl. Good to see the brand getting its confidence back.

MAA creative scale: 9

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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