By now, I'm sure a lot of you have seen the "test drive" commercial from Pepsi featuring NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon. Here's a link to the ad if you haven't. The ad was filmed at a car dealership just outside of Charlotte (in Concord), and features Gordon taking an unsuspecting car salesman on a ridiculous test drive full of burnouts, spins, high speeds and all sorts of driving fit for an action movie. The "salesman" of course panics, and hilarity ensues. The only thing is... the ad is fake. It's not even close to being real. The salesman is an actor, the dealership was in on the whole thing, the driving was done on a closed set, and Jeff Gordon didn't even do the driving. But while it's not "real" in the sense that it's not an actual prank, what's real is that this is a very well done advertisement for Pepsi. The ad has raked in tens of millions of views on YouTube in the past few days.
Eagle-eyed viewers online have pointed out plenty of mistakes in the ad. Here are just a few:
- The car is supposedly a 2009 Camaro, but there wasn't even a Camaro produced that year. The newest generation of Camaros went on sale in late 2009, but they were branded as 2010.
- The interior of the "2009" Camaro is actually the inside of a 2013 model.
- Watch the ground where the test drive finishes. You'll see tire marks from numerous burnouts in multiple takes.
- You don't see any shots of Jeff Gordon actually driving. That's because he didn't - that was a professional stunt driver. Having a stunt driver is extremely common for this sort of thing.
- The ad shows a cupholder directly in the center of the Camaro's dashboard. I've never seen any car with a cupholder like that, much less a Camaro.
- If the ad is to be believed, the salesman starts a test drive 20 seconds after meeting the customer - in a car he's not even interested in.
There are plenty of other tells that the ad is fake (including the studio and Jeff Gordon admitting as such), but those are just some of the biggest. The ad is pretty funny, and it's making the rounds on social media. I know I've seen it posted at least 10 times. It's nice to see a Charlotte connection, but unfortunately, it's just movie magic.