While Coca-Cola plans to offer warm-and-fuzzy pop art on Super Bowl Sunday, the soda company’s forever-rival, Pepsi, is going in a very different direction with its game day ad. The brand’s new commercial, “More Than OK,” features funny dude Steve Carell being extremely silly alongside hip-hop superstars Cardi B and Lil Jon.
The ad beings with a woman in a diner ordering a Coke, and the waiter saying, “Is Pepsi okay?” Carell then whips around from the next booth and expresses his shock at the use of the word “okay” in that sentence. “Are puppies okay?” he asks the waiter. “Is a shooting star okay? Is the laughter of a small child okay?” The Office star then points to Lil Jon at the counter, who yells “Okayyy.” Cardi B then enters the restaurant yelling “Okurrrr” and grabs a can of Pepsi. The ad ends with Carell trying to imitate Cardi B, before remarking, “I’ve got to come up with my own catchphrase.”
The new commercial is far more entertaining than last year’s nostalgia-fest featuring Cindy Crawford, and it feels just a bit edgy, thanks to the call-out of Pepsi’s competitor at the start of the clip and the playful acknowledgment of the brand’s status as America’s second-favorite soda. “Every day, there are millions of people who enjoy Pepsi — people who love this brand — yet they continue to be asked ‘Is Pepsi OK?,’” the company’s VP of marketing, Todd Kaplan, told Ad Week. “We felt that it was time to address this question head-on.”
Pepsi will run the 30-second spot during the game, and the brand also released an extended one-minute version online where Carell does some role playing with the waiter to help him sell Pepsi. Here’s the extended version: