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Steve Martin And Ben Stiller Exchange Insults In Pepsi Zero Sugar's Super Bowl 2023 Teasers

It's "The Jerk" versus "Zoolander" in a new series of ads for Pepsi Zero Sugar leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl LVII. The videos, released on Pepsi's official YouTube channel, feature Steve Martin and Ben Stiller, two kings of comedy with an apparent talent for brutally insulting one another.

Pepsi Zero Sugar has, of course, entered the buzzy Super Bowl fray many times in the past. In 2020, they produced a glitzy red-and-black music video for a rendition/remix of The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black," featuring superstar artists Missy Elliot and H.E.R. At Super Bowl LI in 2017, the brand even sponsored the much-talked-about halftime show headlined by Lady Gaga, in which she was famously lowered into the stadium via wires as illuminated drones created images in the night sky above her. Though Pepsi has sponsored the last several Super Bowl Halftime Shows, Super Bowl LI was the only one to be sponsored by the Zero Sugar brand specifically.

Having ended their decade-long run as the halftime show sponsors last year, 2023 marks Pepsi's first year back in the Super Bowl ad space since the "Paint It Black" video (per AdWeek). As seen in their preliminary ads this year, it appears as though Pepsi Zero Sugar will be taking a more subdued approach to their advertising this time. While we'd love to see Martin or Stiller descending into the arena in heels, this campaign seems to be focused on laughs instead of spectacle.

Martin and Stiller sell out for Pepsi

Shot like a high-budget "Saturday Night Live" promo, the simple ads — referred to as "teasers," because even our ads need to have ads — feature Steve Martin and Ben Stiller talking to the camera and delivering verbal jabs toward one another. The first comes in at just under 30 seconds in length and centers on a dispute about which of the two is the more gifted performer. Ironically, Martin derides Stiller as a "comic actor," saying "that's not really acting" — which is a bit rich coming from one of America's most beloved comic actors.

The second ad, visually indistinguishable from the first, mostly plays on the same dynamic, with Martin hilariously attempting to humiliate Stiller for no reason, calling him "awkward," "intimidated," and a "nepo baby." Whatever this feud is building up toward, it will come to a head on February 12th, during the 57th Super Bowl.

Strangely, both ads seem to be built on the premise that Martin and Stiller are has-beens selling out for a Super Bowl paycheck — in reality, they're the creative minds behind some of the most successful television shows currently in production. Martin's crime-comedy "Only Murders in the Building" and Stiller's dark satire "Severance" are both critical darlings, with upcoming seasons in development as of writing.