Steve Martin, Ben Stiller on what’s real and what’s acting for Pepsi Zero Sugar

Pepsi Zero
(Ben Stiller, Steve Martin)

Last month, Pepsi Zero Sugar unveiled a new and improved taste, prompting fans around the country to try it themselves and discover that zero never tasted so good.

With consumer test results revealing that people prefer the taste of the new Pepsi Zero Sugar to the old formula, Pepsi is going all in on Zero Sugar in 2023, which is why the brand enlisted two of America’s most beloved actors, Steve Martin and Ben Stiller, for this Super Bowl ad.

The new campaign pokes fun at the traditional transactional relationship between advertisers and celebrities, which is never more present than during the Super Bowl. Pepsi Zero Sugar is subverting that age-old advertising trope and challenging consumers to decide for themselves if Martin’s and Stiller’s love for the taste of new brand is just acting, or if Pepsi Zero Sugar really tastes that great.

Martin and Stiller each appear in their own “Great Acting or Great Taste?” Pepsi Zero Sugar commercial airing during Super Bowl LVII, the first time for each to star in a Super Bowl ad. The two new commercials are both directed by cult favorite comedian of Lonely Island fame Jorma Taccone, who makes his official Super Bowl debut. They go “behind the scenes” on set with Ben and Steve as each act in classic movie scenes and break the fourth wall asking the viewer “is it real, or is it acting?” Watch below:

“Consumers today are skeptical towards advertising, often unsure of what is real and what is just acting, which is magnified on advertising’s biggest night, the Super Bowl, when brands bring in actors and celebrities to help pitch their products,” said Todd Kaplan, Chief Marketing Officer – Pepsi. “Since we just launched our upgraded Pepsi Zero Sugar product with a new and improved taste, we wanted to flip this norm on its head, stoking a conversation about what is real and what is acting with two iconic actors in their own right. In this epic new ‘Great Acting or Great Taste?’ campaign, Ben and Steve humorously blur the lines between what is real and what is acting while unveiling the most simple truth of all – the only way to really know is to try it yourself. We at Pepsi are putting our money where our mouth is, giving away up to 10 Million free bottles of Pepsi Zero Sugar empowering fans everywhere to truly taste it and decide for themselves.”

“It’s been great fun to collaborate with Pepsi, and the entire crew and creative team on this spot,” said Ben Stiller. “I think the idea of whether or not an actor actually believes what they are saying when they do a commercial is a fun idea to play with. Though there is really no question Derek Zoolander believes what he is saying, even though he doesn’t know what it means.”

“I love that I’m working with my mortal enemy, Ben Stiller,” said Steve Martin. “Doing a Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl commercial is an honor next only to being a Quarterback – no tackling.”

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The Super Bowl, featuring The Philadelphia Eagles vs. The Kansas City Chiefs, will kick off Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 EST/5:30 CST/3:30 PST.