Pepsi Is Lying: This Is Not Drone Football

Pepsi Is Lying: This Is Not Drone Football
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Drones are no longer cool. I know this because a brand has now tried to shoehorn one into a TV spot, in a lame attempt to make its ad go viral. And worst of all, the title is all wrong: this isn’t drone football. Not even close.

In the ad, Pepsi purports to transform a community soccer field in Spain into a hi-tech world, capable of hosting a game of ‘drone football’. The technology on display is pretty neat: projectors beam down the field boundaries, and LED lights (and more screens) transform the walls, allowing for neat tricks like moving goalposts. Unfortunately, literally all the drone (singular) does is bring the soccer ball to the completely human players.

That is not drone football. It’s not even drone soccer. It’s like Amazon claiming that all of its packages are use drone delivery, because a quadrotor brings Jeff Bezos his morning coffee. Real drone soccer would involve a team of remotely-piloted flying vehicles whizzing round, crashing into each other and punting a ball into a goal. That would be incredible. This is not.

It’s a shame, because the rest of the visual effects are actually very neat — the combination of a projected game surface with LED walls creates something unique and interesting, something that in some small way endears the Pepsi brand to me. But ultimately, it’s a cool stunt, viciously ruined by a brand’s addiction to being hip and trendy and use the latest technology like #drones. Bad Pepsi.