Pepsi MAX & Kyrie Irving Present: “Uncle Drew”


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This five-minute video advertises for Pepsi Max, its zero cola product.

An old man who supposedly grew up watching basketball greats Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson gets a chance to play with some young guys on a New Jersey basketball court and winds up impressing everyone.

It is one of those feel good stories where an old man well past his prime still has enough in the tank to not only compete with but overwhelm the young studs playing a pickup game at night.

After an “injury” forces a man out, the guys need one more player. “Uncle Drew”, with his white hair and white beard, volunteers, to the amazement of the crowd. He looks creaky and gimpy, but he still has some fire in the belly. So he tries to make a shot but it winds up being bouncing it off the backboard and well over the basket. Two more bank shots go wide of the mark and then a low pass gets past him.

Guys are shaking their head wondering why he’s on the court. Finally, he steals the ball and goes up for the easy layup. To everyone’s surprise, he makes the bucket. Girls on the sideline cheer.

Now he kicks it up a notch.

He does some fancy dribbling through the legs and then hits a three-pointer. “Oohs” and “aahs” erupt from the players and onlookers.

He steals the ball again and goes up for the easy layup. People being to realize that the old man still has something. He sinks another three-pointer.

Now he goes full out. He dribbles the ball back and forth and between his legs as he keeps the ball away from his opponent. He drives around the guy and past another as he goes up for the layup. The girls cheer. One of them holds a Pepsi Max, the first product to be shown.

He drains the basket with consistency from all different positions on the court and drives hard and fast around the opposition.

Finally, he goes for the kill. On a breakaway, he throws the ball against the backboard, leaps up and does a monster slam dunk. Everyone is blown away.

He continues to impress. He does fancy dribbling, teasing the opposing player to try and steal the ball. He drives around him and gets the easy layup.

He ends his play with a slam dunk, hanging onto the hoop, the crowd cheering him on.

Suddenly the video segues back four hours. NBA superstar Kyrie Irving, all of 20-years old, introduces himself and commences the “transformation”. The viewer now sees who “Uncle Drew” is – a young man given an age makeup.

A white thinning wig and whitish beard age him some 40 years. The makeup artists even age his hands so as not give anything away.While doing the makeup, he drinks Pepsi Max.

The only thing he needs to concentrate on to make the ruse work is his voice. He practices an old man style of talking. Finally, he pronounces the transformation complete in his young man voice but old man body.

The Pepsi Max logo and slogan flash across the screen: “a zero-calorie cola in disguise”. And now the viewer knows the rest of the story.

The video concludes with “Uncle Drew” peeling off his beard with a big smile saying, “We came, we saw and we conquered.” The hash tag #uncledrew and the Pepsi Max logo conclude the video.

Pepsi MAX & Kyrie Irving Present: "Uncle Drew"
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on January 28, 2013
NBA basketball star Kyrie Irving goes undercover during a game of pickup basketball.