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Pepsi Next Facebook Impersonators Bank On Meta-Narcissism (VIDEOS)

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The new face of Pepsi Next could be you, or at least a funnier version of yourself.

As part of a new ad campaign for Pepsi Next, a soft drink that contains 60 percent less sugar than the brand's flagship product, Pepsi is offering everyday Facebook users a shot at Internet meme-dom. The company has teamed up with Funny Or Die to produce virtual taste tests of the new product featuring improv comedians who will impersonate fans of the product's Facebook page based on their Facebook profiles.

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So far, three videos have been released: an introduction featuring comedian Rob Riggle, YouTube oenophile Gary Vaynerchuk and Internet meme Scumbag Steve.

Pseudo-Vaynerchuk "crushes it," fake Scumbag kind of bombs and both Riggles let their air horns do most of the talking. But if one thing ties the three impersonations together, it's that the impersonators have a lot of comedic material to work with.

While a recent study suggested that Facebook isn't short on narcissistic personalities, it might take more than the usual degree of online bombast to make normal users seem interesting.

Then again, the meta-narcissistic prospect of having a professional entertainer liven up someone's life -- potentially leveling-up their personality quirks to viral meme status -- appears to be the promise behind Pepsi's campaign. And the additional layer of attention will likely appeal to a group that already spends a lot of time on Facebook.

It wouldn't be the first time Facebook profiles have been co-opted in the service of mirth. The Upright Citizen's Brigade has used members of social networks like MySpace, Facebook and OkCupid as fodder for side-splitting shows for several years. Insofar as improv is concerned, comedians can do far worse than flame the fans.

Mashable Business suggested that Pepsi's impersonator campaign took cues from successful social media spots for Intel and Old Spice, which capitalized on direct user engagement through personalized infographics and shout-out tweets with video.

 
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