Pepsi and William H. Macy Created an Ad Homage to ‘Arrival’ for the Golden Globes

You can probably guess what these aliens are after

These aliens seem to have one thing on their collective mind. Pepsi
Headshot of David Griner

For decades, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was advertising’s go-to flick for sci-fi parody. But perhaps there’s a new contender for the crown?

Pepsi’s cinematic new ad that just debuted during the Golden Globes is a well-crafted homage to 2016’s Arrival (whose star, Amy Adams, was nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe in 2017 but didn’t take home the win). This time around, the star is William H. Macy, who’s the first to decipher the strange circular symbols being projected by the mysterious visitors.

Given that you’re going into this knowing it’s a Pepsi ad, you can probably predict where it’s headed. But for Golden Globes viewers, it was a fun red herring to watch unfold.

The spot was created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners.


Ad Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Client: Pepsi

CEO, PepsiCo North America: Al Carey
President and COO, North America Beverages: Kirk Tanner
CMO, PepsiCo North America: Greg Lyons
CMO, Global Beverages: Roberto Rios
VP – Media, Sports and Entertainment: Adam Harter
VP Marketing: Todd Kaplan
VP Marketing: Stacy Taffet
Sr. Director Marketing Communication, Pepsi TM: Michael Smith
Associate Marketing Manager, Pepsi TM: Sarah Stewart

Co-Chairman: Jeff Goodby
Co-Chairman: Rich Silverstein
Chief Creative Officer: Margaret Johnson
Creative Director: Roger Baran
Copywriter: Colin Nissan
Art Director: Sean Farrell

Director of Broadcast Production: Tod Puckett
Executive Broadcast Producer: Christina Wells
Assistant Broadcast Producer: Emilee Goo

Account Services
Managing Partner: Brian McPherson
Group Account Director: Meredith Williams
Account Director: Kiki Veralrud
Account Manager: Ashley Wurzel
Assistant Account Manager: Alexandra Trobbe

Brand and Communication Strategy
Partner, Head of Communication Strategy: Christine Chen
Group Brand Strategy Director: Ralph Paone

Business Affairs
Director of Business Affairs: Judy Ybarra
Business Affairs Manager: Heidi Killeen

Direct Focus
President: Barry Rosen
Executive Producer: Neil Goldberg
Head of Business Affairs: Danielle Vadai

Production Company – MJZ
Director: Henry Hobson
Director of Photography: Steve Annis
Line Producer: Jed Herold
Executive Producer: Kate Leahy

Editorial – HutchCo Technologies
Editor: Jim Hutchins
Assistant Editor: Andrew Oleck
Executive Producer: Jane Hutchins

Online & FX – The Mill
Executive Producer: Anastasia von Rahl
Producer: Marcus Speaker
Coordinator: Mary Mondrus
Lead Flame: Matt Fuller
Flame Artists: Chase Web and Ben Smith

Telecine: Company 3
Colorist: Tom Poole
Producer: Alexandra Lubrano

Music Composition: Human Worldwide
Executive Producer: Carol Dunn
Senior Producer: Kamela Anderson
Creative Director: Gareth Williams

SFX: Barking Owl
Executive Producer: Kelly Bayett
Creative Director/ Sound Design: Morgan Johnson

Mix: Lime Studios
Sound Engineer: Rohan Young & Joel Waters
Assistant Engineer: Ben Tomastik & Chris Nungary
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

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@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."