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OK, so our clever little idea was wrong, and Bruno Mars did not descend on tiny Milligan, Nebraska during last weekend’s Pepsi Super Bowl commercial shoot. The musician who did show up was much closer to the hearts of this middle American town, though, for it was Lee Brice.

Brice, for those of you not in the know, is a 33 year old country music sensation. He was actually on track to be a football player, and even got a scholarship to the Clemson University (that’s a major college football program right there, FYI for those of you more into ads than sports), but an injury ended his playing days, so now rather than a shot at being on the field during the big game, Brice will be wowing commercial fans during the Super Bowl instead. Not a bad tradeoff, really. And fewer concussions!

Brice managed to sneak into Milligan totally incognito, and then leapt out of a Pepsi truck to the delight of the crowds. And indeed, crowds there were: thousands of people came from miles around (remember that Milligan itself is a town of just a few hundred!) and braved below freezing temperatures for the surprise concert. Footage of the event is surely being furiously edited right now, as it will be used for a Pepsi commercial to run during or shortly before Super Bowl XLVIII.

We all know that this whole thing was just a big publicity stunt, but hey, if marketing gets a lot of people together to have a great time, then so what? And if it makes people buy a bunch of Pepsi, then hey, good job advertising execs. And if it leads to a great commercial, well then we’ll all be happy!

Here’s the video of Brice’s Parking Lot Party in Milligan: