By Webb Wright, NY Reporter

February 2, 2023 | 3 min read

Each of the two stars will appear in their own standalone ads for Pepsi Zero Sugar during the Big Game.

Pepsi got legendary actors Ben Stiller and Steve Martin together to promote sugar-free cola Pepsi Zero Sugar, and to provide an early glimpse into the brand's upcoming Super Bowl campaign. It was tense.

In two short video spots released this morning, the Hollywood icons face off in a battle of comedic wit and biting insults. The well-dressed duo stand next to one another in a dark studio, two cans of Pepsi Zero Sugar placed strategically on a stool between them. In the first ad, after Stiller introduces himself as “actor Ben Stiller,” Martin jumps in like a swaggering playground bully by introducing himself as “better actor Steve Martin.”

They quickly veer into absurdist territory: “You couldn’t act your way out of a paper bag,” Stiller tells Martin. “Oh, you couldn’t act your way into the paper bag that I was acting in,” Martin retorts. Boom, roasted.

In the second ad, Stiller gamely tries to smile and stick to the script: “As actors, in a way, we never really stop acting,” he says. Martin then jumps in with a jab: “For example, Ben is acting right now like he’s not intimidated standing next to me.” That dig ignites the high-pressure tank of mutual hatred between the two actors that we saw in the first ad. They go back and forth for some time, until they resort to name-calling, the lowest form of animosity. Stiller calls Martin a banjo player. Martin shoots right back by calling Stiller a nepo baby, which actually seems to rattle (no pun intended) Stiller.

Pepsi chief marketing officer Todd Kaplan wrote in a LinkedIn post this morning that both Stiller and Martin “will appear in their own, separate standalone Pepsi Zero Sugar ad, marking the first time that either of them has starred in a Super Bowl commercial!”

The brand’s full ad for Super Bowl LVII is slated for release before February 12, the day of the Big Game. “Who knows,” Kaplan wrote in his LinkedIn post, “you may just witness some of the best acting you have ever seen!”

Earlier this month, Pepsi revealed a new tagline for Pepsi Zero Sugar, “Zero never tasted so good,” which will be a central feature of the brand’s Super Bowl campaign.

Apple Music will be the sponsor of this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, a niche that has been filled by Pepsi for the past 11 years.

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