On Tuesday, Pepsi released an ad featuring NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon taking a Camaro for a test drive, and scaring the poor dealer along for the ride nearly to death.
But some are crying foul, claiming the video is (surprise!) fake.
Totally disguised with a classy moustache-goatee combo, Gordon feigns disinterest in the black Camaro on the lot. Capturing the action are a pair glasses fitted with a tiny camera, and a (zero calorie!) Pepsi Max with another hidden camera.
“Oh no. This is way too much car for me,” he said, as the dealer butters him up and convinces him to take the test drive. Bizarro Jeff Gordon relents, and agrees to take the Camaro for a spin, but not until first carefully placing his can of (zero calorie!) Pepsi Max in an aftermarket cup holder attached to an interior air vent ... a totally normal $14.99 truck stop accessory you'd find in a car on a dealer’s lot.
Gordon then proceeds to whip the Camaro around streets and parking lots that are conveniently empty (except for one silver Chevy Cruze). The dealer shouts swears and threats at Gordon until they return to the dealership and Gordon reveals the cameras and the prank: “It was all just fun. See? I’m Jeff Gordon.”
But as Jalopnik points out, the video is fake. Here’s the reasoning, based on tips and well, just watching the video:
Inside the Camaro is a random cupholder placed above the vents. That cupholder definitely doesn't exist in a new Camaro... or really any other car. There is also a V8 soundtrack. This car is definitely a V6.
The car is sitting right outside the dealership when it sets out. If you look at the area where the car sets out from, there sure are a lot of tire marks like repeated burnouts were done there. My source that was on site told me that was because they did multiple takes for everything.
There is one "salesman" from Troutman Motors -- where the ad was filmed -- named "Steve" featured in the video. "Steve" is the only Troutman Motors "employee" who doesn't have his face blurred out, meaning he would have signed a release to be in the video, since filming without discretion is illegal in most states. I called Troutman Motors to speak with Steve. Guess what? He was "unavailable." Wayne Troutman of the dealership told me that they are currently under non-disclosure and cannot comment on the video at all. But our source that was there told me that "Steve" was an actor. Who else offers a test drive within eight seconds of meeting someone in a car they aren't interested in?
And perhaps the most glaring evidence:
During the entire drive, there isn't one shot of Jeff Gordon driving the car.
As Concord, N.C.'s Independent Tribune states, "Racer Brad Noffsinger, who works with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, did the stunt work for the production."
So, we've been duped. Watch the video below, and let us know what your favorite totally-viral-and-not-staged video is in the comments