Benjamin Reeves | March 14 2013 7:59 EDT
PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) drove home a big win for its Pepsi MAX brand of diet sodas with a new YouTube video popularly christened the "Jeff Gordon Test Drive". The Jeff Gordon Test Drive video (watch above) has racked up over 5 million views on YouTube in just two days and represents the continued strong viral marketing campaign for the Pepsi MAX brand.
The Jeff Gordon Test Drive video features legendary NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon pranking a lowly car salesman at a dealership. Gordon plays the fool a bit to get the car salesman into the passenger seat of a Chevrolet Camaro he's interested in buying, and then proceeds to hoon around the parking lot to the screams and curses of his unsuspecting mark.
The video is hilarious, and is viral gold due to the fact that it does not feel explicitly like advertising. The camera used to film the interior of the car is mounted on a Pepsi MAX can, and the video appears on the Pepsi YouTube channel, but all of the branding is incorporated into the video as an organic part of the story until the end when a Pepsi MAX banner is displayed. At the same time, Pepsi didn't forget to make sure that Jeff Gordon says "Pepsi MAX" at some point during the video.
The Jeff Gordon Test Drive video is not the first viral success by Pepsi. An earlier prank video with Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving has racked up 20 million views since May 2012. A second video with Irving was less successful, bringing in a comparatively paltry 5 million views since Oct. 2012.
Whether the viral videos help sell more Pepsi MAX is had to quantify, but the continued production of the high value YouTube spots indicates that PepsiCo has decided they are at least successful at building brand awareness.
After the original "Uncle Drew" video with Irving, PepsiCo spokesman Sam Duboff told AdNewsNow that "Once we started looking at the metrics, it became clear that we couldn't miss the opportunity to bring Uncle Drew to the sport's biggest stage."
That video ultimately wound up being recut as TV ad. It remains to be seen whether PepsiCo will decide to do the same with the Jeff Gordon Test Drive video.
PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) closed Wednesday at $76.95.