“Uncle Drew”

Thanks on this one to Dustin H., who asks:

Why would a viral ad like this find so much success (as in amount of views in such a short period of time) without any sort of advertising campaigns before it? Does it help to have a well known NBA player such as Kyrie Irving in it, or is it strictly the story-line behind it?


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14 Responses to “Uncle Drew”

  1. Andrew Gust says:

    As an NBA fan I think this commercial is extremely funny. I believe it has so much success because they have one of the most famous up and coming stars of the NBA and Rookie of the Year starring in it. It also has the real feel like the TNT we know drama commercial where it is real situation with non actors participating. It reminds me of those old jackass clips where they would dress up as old people and mess around with unsuspecting people. I always found those funny and that may be why I find this so funny. Also, it is a commercial for Pepsi Max which is more targeted towards the male demographic so using this kind of humor with a famous NBA star seems like a great idea to me. I also feel being a 21 year old male I am the targeted person for those advertising.
    This is the jackass clips I

    • Paul Tseng says:

      My roommate showed me this video a few days ago, and I had no idea who Kyrie Irving was but still found the video to be entertaining and very funny. Pepsi Max is targeted to young men with the guarantee of “Maximum taste, No sugar.” Many young men can identify with the video with their experiences playing pick-up games in parks with others and how shocked you would be in an Uncle Drew started playing like he was in his 20’s. Pepsi picked a great character to play uncle Drew because he is recognizable and really gets into the role playing.

  2. Andrew Gust says:

    I also realized I used “also” too much in that post

  3. Rob Jewett says:

    I also immediately thought of the Jackass movies. The hair and makeup needed to be very well done in the Pepsi Max so that people would buy into the ad. I didn’t know who Kyrie Irving was until I did a google search. The producers chose a very good actor to play the part. The fact that he was Rookie of the Year and was made into a very old man wearing sweats, certainly caught my attention. When they showed him getting “done up” in the studio, I immediately disregarded Pepsi Max as the reason for his athleticism. The problem with this commercial for me was that there wasn’t enough product placement during the 5 minutes. As I was watching it, I found myself paying closer attention to the basketball skill rather than the subtly placed drinks in people’s hands.

    • Dane says:

      I agree. I don’t see how this was succesful for Pepsi because if i were to explain this ad to friends, Pepsi MAX would probably be one my last descriptions. It is enjoyable and fun to watch, grabs a lot of attention, and will have everyone talking about it. But the audience will be talking more about Kyrie Irving than Pepsi.

  4. Jessica Katz says:

    The only reason people would watch this and the reason why it went so viral is because Kyrie Irving is in it. Pepsi released this ad amidst the best time of the year for basketball, NBA playoffs. Basketball is the hot ticket right now so I think that also attributes to the high viewership in such a short amount of time. I don’t think anyone finds themselves hours deep in a stream of Pepsi MAX commercials but watching NBA stars for hours on end it totally feasible, I know I’ve done it. The only time they actually show Pepsi MAX is at the very end during Kyrie’s transformation. I don’t see this as promotion of a product or very beneficial to Pepsi as a whole. Rather, this views more as a sponsor for an event. Like here’s this really cool thing and it’s brought to you by Pepsi MAX. But, no one remembers Pepsi MAX, they remember the really cool thing. I like the story line, I like Kyrie Irving, but I don’t like Pepsi and nothing about this screams Pepsi to me.

  5. Jessica Katz says:

    I watched it again, I was wrong. People in the crowd are holding Pepsi MAX but I didn’t actually notice it until the very end. Those girls aren’t playing basketball though, they’re watching it so who is Pepsi actually selling to?

  6. I think the reason this video has become so viral is because Kyle Irving is in it. The story line is funny once you find out who the old man actually is. It was hard to realize that this was a Pepsi Max commercial. They could of showed the product more throughout the video because I really didn’t make the connection until the very end. I don’t think commercial really supports the product as much as it supports the story line. They could of used more to promote the drink instead of just focusing on the story line.

  7. Bryttnee L says:

    I personally don’t keep up with the NBA nor do I know who Kyrie Irving. I do think that this viral ad was so successful due to the fact that the NBA star was in it, and also wrote it, not particularly the story line. All though the story line was interesting and kept me intrigued to watch, I still don’t understand why or how this ad was so popular. The product wasn’t shown very much which made me want to keep watching to figure out how they showed the product to appeal to consumers. I think that Pepsi Max in this particular ad wanted to appeal to basketball players and other sports players, partly because of the direction of the commercial but also, because it’s a no calorie drink, which must be good for sports players! The story line did probably help the success of the ad, but having an actual basketball star to relay the message increased this viral ads views in such a short amount of time.

  8. Quinn Flaherty says:

    I also immediately thought of Johnny Knoxville from Jackass when I saw this video. This video would have been much different for me if I hadn’t initially known that Kyrie Irving was in the old man suit. It would have been an impactful surprise if I would have seen the progression of the video and found out at the end. I also didn’t see the correlation to Pepsi Max during this ad. Perhaps that Pepsi Max is the soft drink of a young, hip, active generation but still with the same Pepsi flavor. This would make sense as Kyrie Irving was the NBA Rookie of the Year this season dressed in the old person suit. The humor in this ad makes it very appealing to a wide range of people.

  9. Ben Butterfield says:

    I think this ad i extremely effective because it plays off the theme of “disguise” in multiple ways. pepsis tag line is “zero calories in disguise” and this is really an ad in disguise. People are watching it because it is entertaining. It is not until the end that you realize that it is an ad for Pepsi. I think the effectiveness of the ad has to do with the story line and the fact that it uses an undercover pro athlete. The story is surprising when you first see an elderly man playing basketball. Then they double surprise you in showing everyone that it is a young man doing all the moves then the story line becomes comedic because it is like you were in on the joke.

  10. Ryan Hagen says:

    When I first saw this ad a couple days ago I immediately thought of two people that had done this “old man” idea before, Johnny Knoxville and LeBron James. However these two did not use this idea as well as Kyrie Irving and Pepsi did in this “Uncle Drew” commercial. I think that by first having the Kyrie Irving play the part of Uncle Drew was a huge reason why this commercial was so successful. Kyrie spent only one year in college and was the first overall pick in the NBA and was most recently named the 2012 Rookie of the Year in the NBA, so by using him in this ad was a good idea because he was so relevant in society at this moment. Another reason why I think this ad worked is because it wasn’t a normal ad. Instead of trying to pump the view full of information about their product they put on this story of Uncle Drew, which was funny and entertaining. Pepsi did a great job with this ad in my opinion because they demonstrated their slogan for Pepsi Max “A Zero-Calorie Cola in disguise” by disguising Kyrie Irving as an old man.

    Nike’s “The LeBron’s” Commercial:

  11. Eli Bovarnick says:

    Overall, I enjoyed the video and found it entertaining. The one aspect that could have been improved for me was seeing that Kyrie Irving was a part of the video in the youtube title. Knowing that Irving was a focal point of this video made me look for where he was instead of only watching the ad with an open mind. Eventually, when I realized that the only possible place that Irving could be in the ad was the old man himself and I was right the ad lacked the element of surprise for me that Pepsi desired. I still think that the ad is clever and also is helped by Irving’s star power. I liked how the ad finishes with “a zero-calorie cola in disguise” flashing across the screen, tying together the message of the video and the message of the product.

  12. Caroline Amling says:

    I think the reason that this video spread so quickly is due to the fact that Kyrie Irving was featured as the main character. Besides being a video of entertaining basketball footage I found the ad fairly ineffective for the brand it was advertising. While it had an interesting storyline, I thought the ad would be much more effective in a shorter format. When the ad finally ended and I realized what the ad was for, I found myself wondering what Pepsi had to do at all with what I just watched.

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