Colombian actor and comedian John Leguizamo gives us insight into his new Pepsi ad and how it speaks to the growing power of the Latinx market.

By Lena Hansen
April 25, 2019 12:05 PM

John Leguizamo stars in a fun new Pepsi commercial where we see the actor and comedian of Colombian descent rush through a busy day in New York City. After oversleeping and getting a frantic call from his director saying he needs to hurry to the theater before his big show, we see Leguizamo running out of his hotel room, getting on the subway and finally catching a taxi bike that he ends up driving himself because the driver is too slow. As he makes his way through this asphalt maze, we hear the voices of casting directors and other power players who turned the actor down in the past, telling him he had an accent, or didn’t have the right look or last name for a part. All of this leads to his victorious entrance to the theater where — after enjoying a Pepsi, of course — he appears on stage before an adoring crowd.

“Pepsi came to me with this great idea about people inspiring other people to go against all odds, to go against all obstacles, and I said: ‘Wait a minute! That’s what I am and that’s my life.’ It was incredible how the two coincided,” he tells CHICA of filming the ad, which airs tonight during the Billboard Latin Music Awards on Telemundo.

Courtesy of Pepsi

Having big brands put the spotlight and focus on the growing Latinx audience is a smart move, Leguizamos adds: “We are almost 70 million people just in the United States, and we are incredibly loyal to brands. We have over 1.3 trillion dollars of buying power, so we’re no joke. We’re an important demographic in America. It’s just the Latinx generation. It’s here, it’s now!”

Courtesy of Pepsi

The commercial’s storyline resonates with him: “I especially love the message we’re sending to our fans through the spot… which is that no matter what type of obstacle or doubt comes your way — big or small — if you stick to your passion and listen to your own voice, you can get one step closer to living out your dreams,” says the creator and star of the Netflix-via-Broadway one-man comedy show Latin History for Morons.

Courtesy of Pepsi

He was also impressed with another commercial of the same campaign celebrating Latinx talent: featuring Dominican-American Cardi B. “I love me some Cardi B, I can’t get enough of her. The more I see her, the happier I am,” he admits.

The message behind this new advertising campaign is empowering to our community, Leguizamo emphasizes: “Every time that we get a chance to see a Latin person being celebrated or empowered or as a leader, it’s so important for our youth to see that because they need role models, they need to see that it can be done, that it is possible. And every time they see somebody who looks like them in places of power and of importance, the message given to them is that: you too are important, you too are worthy, you too can do this.”

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