Setting the Record, it was not FAKE! Jeff Gordon & PepsiMAX serves up something special: “Test Drive… The Sequel”
By Tevia on Monday, March 3, 2014
One of the most effective ways in promoting a product/services is through viral videos. However, if it lacks the basic fundamentals of human interaction it wont become successful. In 2013, PepsiMAX initiated its viral marketing advertising campaign “Test Drive” video, starring NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon, disguised, who took a car salesman for the most terrifying ride of his life.
While there’s no way to guarantee that anything will “go viral,” PepsiMAX did just that; it accomplished its set goal in becoming a hit. The company utilized its marketing efforts including the six main characteristics for making a viral video: Relevance, Style, Validation, Surprise, Intensity and especially emotion. That being said, the video had over 40 million views on YouTube.
With its huge success, critics began to questioning its validity; some claimed that the video is fake. One critic in particular Travis Okluski, was very vocal with his thoughts about the video. In a post last March, he claimed, “Jeff Gordon did not drive the car and every single person in the video was an actor.”
But PepsiMAX and Jeff Gordon heard his claim and decided to set the record straight by concocting the ideal prank in getting back at the blogger. The prank followed similar concept as the original video. However, instead of disguising himself as a customer, Jeff Gordon disguised himself as a taxi driver who decides to run from the police after being asked to pull over with Travis in the backseat screaming for his life.
The video Test Drive 2, below, is hilarious. PepsiMAX showcased that its critics are important and but the truth is what is essential. The brand got the recognition it needed, it was able to build relationships with its target audience.