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There is this commercial which David Beckham did for Pepsi where he kicks three soccer balls into three different cans at a considerable distance on the beach.

The video went viral and we can see people debating on online forums if it is fake or real and arguing about Beckham's soccer skills.

In these times where we can alter almost everything digitally, can we figure out whether this particular video is for real? Any articles/blogs which can explain it.

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    An "online video marketing guide" explains that "One of the most popular ways for brands to reach huge audiences with online video is to create a clip that begs the question, 'Was that real or fake?'" in other words, these type of adverts are routinely faked. Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 23:08
  • However, for the same reason, they're nearly always plausible. In this video you can see that they sometimes have to do more than one take. An outtakes video, behind the scenes or the original raw footage would settle this.
    – Ladadadada
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 0:08
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    @RedGrittyBrick Ugh, another misuse (not by you) of "begs the question". begthequestion.info
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 4:13
  • RedGrittyBrick's link is to a piece which talks specifically about Beckham's Pepsi beach commercial, and which gives its reasons for believing that it's fake.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 10:42
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    Is the question here Can David Beckham hit three difficult shots in a row? or Was this a spontaneous, candid moment? The former is plausible and the video I added supports this. The latter is obviously false based on the acting and the convenient two extra balls that just appeared when they were needed, not to mention three conveniently placed bins.
    – Ladadadada
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 11:11

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It seems to be fake:

For one, half way through the second kick, on one single frame about a third of the ball goes missing, seemingly chopped off. Strange, inexplicable video glitch? Possibly. But also look at the man in the distance approaching the second trash can as Beckham lands his second shot. He’s only a handful of metres away from it, far close than Beckham. He doesn’t react at all when the ball lands in the can (with a suspiciously loud bang.) He doesn’t turn, look up or in any way react to the ball, which seems strange. If someone was kicking balls 50+ yards out into trash cans only a few yards away from us, we’d be looking up to see what was going on!

We talked to our very own (semi) professional footballer/soccer player contact, who said this –

Beckham was one of the all-time greats at the long pass. He could pick out a player from over half a football pitch away. He was truly one of the most accurate passers to grace the game. That said, this is completely fake. Even with practice. He is between 50 and 60 yards away from those bins. If he landed one, it could be believable. Anyone could land one when they’ve had enough attempts. Of course Beckham is more likely to land one than your average Joe. And if he was there all day, he could potentially land two or three. But three different shots into three different bins in succession? On a beach with bare feet? Absolutely no way. Also, he caught that third shot all kinds of wrong. Conveniently it straightened up after the ball came back into shot. Very convenient indeed.

To the credit of Beckham himself, he’s always insisted (with a smirk, no doubt) that the footage is genuine.

This recreation beautifully demonstrates how it could be faked.

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  • I'm sure the footage of Beckham kicking the balls is genuine.
    – Schwern
    Commented Jun 5 at 17:44
  • @Schwern I have added a video that beautifully demonstrates how it could be faked. Commented Jun 6 at 12:02
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    Exactly right. This trick is not new.
    – Schwern
    Commented Jun 6 at 19:00

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