Monday, January 26, 2009

A Dew in the ointment

Hey. Mountain Dew. What have we said about not putting disgusting shit in ads for food products?

Okay, Mountain Dew is sort of gross on its own terms, but it's still something the public is expected to consume. It's not some sort of industrial solvent. So maybe going with the huge nasty splash of bug guts, I don't know, wasn't the way to get us all excited to drink your soda?

But what kills me about this commercial is the bizarre coda, in which Mountain Dew suddenly gets all defensive about their stupid ad:

Announcer [reading onscreen text]: "Drinking Mountain Dew Voltage will not actually electrify you. This was simply a metaphor, an admittedly weak metaphor, to suggest it is intense. We hope you enjoyed it but fully understand if you did not."

You know, if you have to apologize for the commercial you just ran, maybe you should have come up with another idea. Was there a pitch meeting where someone tossed out the bug guts idea, and half the room loved it but half the room thought it would be too gross? So then someone, the Henry Clay of advertising, stands up. "Gentlemen," he says, "I propose that we show the bug guts. But!" (Here he raises his voice slightly and holds up his hand to quiet the throng of anti-guts admen who have already begun to grumble their objections.) "But... I suggest that at the end, we admit that it was a shitty ad."

The admen look around at each other, unsure how to react.

"That's right," Henry says. "I understand that it goes against your every instinct, that it flies in the face of everything you've learned in your career. But we can have it both ways. We can get the laughs of the 15-year-old kids who think bug guts are hilarious. And we can also get grudging acceptance from the people who think that shit is nasty, by admitting that we know the ad we've just shown them was kind of terrible."

A wave of muttered acceptance sweeps the room. A triumphant smile crosses Henry's face.


That's the pre-credits sequence of the screenplay I'm writing, tentatively entitled The Voltage Spot. The rest of the film is 90 minutes of me finding out who green-lighted this shit, going to their houses and punching them in the junk.


Quivering P. Landmass said...

I suggest that Mountain Dew then take your junk-punching footage and use it in turn to create an even shittier meta- referential commercial for an extreme product.

Tyler said...

Mountain Dew Voltage: Kills Bugs Dead.

Alex said...

They play this ad on every damn Anaheim Ducks game I watch on TV...I almost died laughing at the Henry Clay scenario.