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July 19, 2010

Pepsi Max remakes classic Pepsi diner spot with a modern twist

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Jul 19 2010

Ask the average corporate exec to comment about a rival and you'll usually get a blanket statement like, "We don't comment on competitors." But those same upper-management types, it seems, have no trouble putting their rank-and-file employees on the firing line, at least in advertising. Aside from the long-running Verizon-Comcast spat, which features a feckless cable guy squaring off against an obnoxious FiOS rep, there's the on-again, off-again rivalry between the guys who drive trucks for Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. In this latest campaign for Pepsi Max from TBWA\Chiat\Day—an update of a famous 1995 Super Bowl ad by BBDO (with the original Pepsi guy now playing the diner cook)—a Pepsi rep persuades his competitor to try the drink. As the Coke driver admires Pepsi Max's no-calorie sweetness, the Pepsi guy snaps a quick video and uploads it to YouTube. A brawl ensues, but when the dust clears, it's hard not to sympathize with the Coke guy, who may (in the story, at least) lose his job. On the other hand, perhaps Pepsi research has identified a weasel-ish psychographic that responds well to betraying overtures to friendship.

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