Surrealism and Sales

“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” – Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park

These are the words that can best address the bizarre fever dream that the Mountain Dew and PepsiCo has unleashed upon us. The Puppymonkeybaby. (Word has it that if you say that name three times, the beast comes for you.)

I try to avoid hyperbole on this site. I can safely say that this is literally the dumbest advertisement I have seen. Usually, a link would be provided, but these people already have 15 million views, and I don’t want to give them anymore. (Views is what they want. If you give them more views, they win.) Instead, I’ll go through, frame by frame, analyzing this train wreck.

Surrealism and Sales 6

It starts at the best point it possibly can. Three men on the couch, and one says “I might just chill tonight.” This is the high point of the commercial. It only gets worse from here.

Surrealism and Sales 1
He comes in and says his name, like he’s some type of Pokemon

A strange hybrid creature busts through the wall. He looks like something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story, or out of the depths of our nightmares. His head is that of a pug; his torso, that of a monkey; and his legs, that of an infant child. He plops a bucket of ice and Mountain Dew products on the table and says his name.

Surrealism and Sales 2
This made everyone really uncomfortable, including the guy in this picture.

He offers a Mountain Dew to each person on the couch, and licks one of the three on the cheek.

Surrealism and Sales 3

As they open their refreshments, the hybrid begins to shake his rattle, and the trio begins to dance, and shake their bodies, as though they are being possessed. They all leave the room, dancing to the cadence of the hybrid’s rattle.

Surrealism and Sales 4
If this is what I happens when I drink Mountain Dew, I’ll pass, thank you.

As the trio makes their journey to whatever kind of hell awaits them, we are told the moral of this anecdote: “Three Awesome Things Combined. Caffeine, Juice, Dew Combined.”

Surrealism and Sales 5

Really? Really?! I make it a policy to avoid hyperbole on this site, but I don’t think it is a stretch to say that this is one of the most ridiculous and useless advertisement I’ve ever seen on television. This is both a low-point of advertising, as well as an indictment of it.

How on earth would this help to sell Mountain Dew Kickstart? Sure, you’ve done a good job of emphasizing that Kickstart is a combination of three things, but how does that make your product more appealing? How does Puppymonkeybaby build interest in Mountain Dew?

One of Geico’s many ad campaigns is “It’s what you do.” Notably, they’ve gained a lot of attention over a commercial that features a Peter Pan character being a bit of a jerk to older people, before saying, “If you’re Peter Pan, you never grow old; it’s what you do. If you want to save money on car insurance, you switch to Geico; it’s what you do.”

These advertisement campaigns rely on things that are not relevant to the products they’re selling. Logically, you can’t sell a product just by having people talk about your company. That’s not the way sales works. If everyone says your commercials are weird, random, etc., rather than informative, persuasive, or, at the very least, funny, then what good is that?

Now, I expect there to be a counterargument to the point I’m making here. Someone will want to comment, “Well, we’re talking about Mountain Dew/Geico,” or, as the adage goes, “There’s no such thing as bad press.” That statement assumes that the companies just wanted us to talk about the commercial, rather than buy their soda/insurance policies. If your business model consists of having people talk about your product rather than buy it, you won’t make much money.

Chances are, if you like Mountain Dew, you’ll buy this product, and if you don’t like Mountain Dew, you won’t. It shows a nihilism about marketing; there’s no effort or creativity here. Basically, these large companies are under the assumption that if they slap their logo on anything, people will buy it. If Mountain Dew doesn’t notice a bump in sales after the millions of dollars they spent on that thirty second commercial, perhaps they will realize that consumers are not sheep, and that you can’t just make a commercial “random” and expect it to catch on.

 

Additional Reading:

Don’t watch fake banned commercials by Cracked.com

 

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6 thoughts on “Surrealism and Sales

  1. Being a marketing student during my MBA, I loved reading your post. I, too, am a fan of creative advertisements and campaigns.
    I agree with your thought on such illogical marketing campaigns. These only give companies short-term increase in sales. When the campaign’s hype dies down, all is back to normal.

    Liked by 1 person

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