This weekend, Mo Salah took part in the latest viral marketing challenge dreamed up by executives at Pepsi.
Stood in a studio, Salah flicks a football up into his hands and places it on top of a can of Pepsi. So far, so easy.
But next, he takes a second can of the drink and seemingly balances it, at an angle, on top of the football.
Delicately adjusting it for a second, he eventually steps back, folding his arms triumphantly, leaving the can balanced at a seemingly impossible angle.
Mo Salah completes the Pepsi Balance challenge. Is there nothing this man can’t do?
Thing is, and we hate be the party poopers here, it’s not real. Granted, we can’t tell you exactly how it’s done, but Salah’s advert is one of a string of famous campaigns that have gone viral, all of which share the same format:
Global sports superstar is on a shoot. When the cameras stop rolling, we’re treated to some behind the scenes footage of the star displaying mind-blowing tekkers of some description.
Sure, it’s a familiar format, but done properly, you love to see it, as the Internet says. And why? Because the people featured almost certainly could do what’s being asked of them, even if they aren’t necessarily doing it right then.
Here then, are the best in class.
David Beckham’s three trash can free kicks
Beckham’s on a beach. He’s doing keepy-uppies, a can of Pepsi in hand. A voice off-camera asks if he can kick the ball into the trash can in the distance. Of course he can. Why not do all three trash cans? It’s David Beckham, after all. England captain, tousled talisman, he who scored from the halfway line against Wimbledon. And in the 92nd minute against Greece. If anyone can it’s Golden Balls.
We know this isn’t real. But the point is, it could be.
Roger Federer’s studio trickshot
Roger Federer might be the smoothest man on the planet. The greatest player to ever do it looks slick on court in his custom Ralph Lauren blazers, but equally at home in a suit on the set of a Gilette photoshoot. So at home, in fact, that he decides to pull off a William Tell style trick shot in the studio. Chatting to a member of the production team, Federer says he’ll show him hard it is for line judges to pick out stray balls….by knocking a water bottle off the guy’s head with a tennis ball, from 30 ft. Twice.
It baffled the internet when it was released. Why? Because if you found someone mad enough to stand in front of Federer’s serve, he probably could hit a water bottle off your head.
Lionel Messi’s Pepsi magic
Messi does things with a football that no other human could. It follows, then, that he might also be able to do things with a Pepsi can that would make David Blane stop and scratch his head.
Part of the same campaign as Mo Salah’s balancing act, Messi positions two cans of Pepsi at opposing angles, to the disbelief of onlookers in the studio.
Is it magic? Almost certainly.
Will it go viral? Obviously.