The Encounter by Pepsi is an ad parodying/paying homage to the science fiction film The Arrival. It played during the Golden Globes. Via Variety:
William H. Macy has spent hours playing characters in such TV and film works as “Shameless,” “Fargo,” “The Cooler” and “State and Main.” He appears for just seconds as a surprisingly resourceful janitor in a commercial for Pepsi.
Sometimes, the actor says, advertisements can have just as much power as programming.
In a 60-second spot that aired Sunday during NBC’s presentation of the Golden Globes, Macy plays a savvy working man who appears to thwart an intergalactic invasion by offering alien interlopers a bottle of Pepsi. “I’m a fan of commercials,” the actor says in an interview with Variety, noting that doing voice-over work once gave him enough financial freedom to act in Chicago and off-Broadway. “I’ve seen a commercial do more in 60 seconds than a film has done in two hours.”
Pepsi is betting that Macy’s advertising philosophy resounds with consumers in 2019. The beverage giant, a regular sponsor of big sporting events and TV moments, not to mention the Super Bowl, plans to put more emphasis on commercials meant to entertain big audiences, according to Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing for colas at the company – so entertaining, executives hope, that viewers will forget the commercial isn’t the exact thing they tuned in for in the first place.