How Mountain Dew Just Created the Most Offensive Ad Ever
Have you heard? The Pepsi Company has just released and retracted what is now being celebrated as the most racist and sexist commercial in history, which is saying a lot, considering history's track record.
The story follows a severely battered white woman participating in a lineup of black men and one goat -- so yeah, smashing start.
Nothing says "refreshing" like goats and violent crime.
As the white cop eggs her on to pick one, the goat verbally threatens her until she has a breakdown and leaves. Ha! Right? Mountain Dew.
Considering its budget and notoriety, one would imagine that this piece of shit had to break through a whole bunch of safety nets to actually see the light of day, something that turns out to be not a hard task to do.
In fact, when you recount the steps, it's downright understandable -- also hilarious.
Step 1: Find an Edgy Celebrity to Endorse It
If you want something that all the hip young kids are going to get on their knees and blow, you'll need a hip young kid to sell whatever garbage you're stuffing. At least that's the technical phrasing. Basically, go turn on MTV and buy whatever is on there. In this case, it's Tyler, The Creator, the grammatically correct co-founder of the hip-hop group Odd Future.
And the man who revolutionized the T-shirt.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Creator, a brisk Google search will reveal such gems as a feud with Bruno Mars over the line "stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus" and a cornucopia of lyrics, like "It's because I'm Dracula, bitch/Don't got a problem with smacking a bitch/Kidnapping, attacking with axes and shit."
And this is the guy they approached.
"Axes and shit" are both key ingredients in Mountain Dew.
But like any of the steps on this list, one alone is not enough to damn the company. After all, this is America -- a place where you can sing about unspeakable crimes and sell laptops, if you're creative enough. Who's more creative than "The Creator"? Sure, he did just rhyme "bitch" with "bitch," but surely after a good long brainstorming session they'll whip together something they can use.
Step 2: Accept the First Idea That Comes Up
No we're not using hyperbole here -- that's actually what happened. As Tyler himself explains it, he was picked up for this ad and literally thought up the goat "five minutes before the meeting" with the totally realistic presumption that they'll most likely think it's "fuckin' retarded."
Nobody ever said he wasn't perceptive.
In Tyler's words, the exact pitch -- the foot-in-the-door pitch -- was this:
"Alright, it's a fucking goat, right? It's a goat and he's going to drink the fucking Mountain Dew, and he's gonna yell at the lady, and the cops are going to pull him over, and then he's going to be in jail and then he gonna do PCP."
Turns out that ad men have a much lower bar than the guy who once wrote a song called "AssMilk," and this puppy got legs.
But this is where we start to see what happened -- while stupid, what Tyler had pitched wasn't all that offensive. No, like any turd sandwich, the individual pieces are not equal to the sum of their parts -- it's gonna take one final slice before we can stick a toothpick in that fucker.
Step 3: Completely Fail to See Context and Run It
Context is kind of everything. If you were to create a Lord of the Rings-style three-part ad about a goat that attacked a waitress, got arrested, and then got picked out of a lineup consisting of the director's friends, you have to make sure that not one single part happens to be horribly offensive when shown out of context -- because it's fucking going to be.
This is not good brand management.
Believe it or not, we don't keep tabs on what every television goat is up to. So while you saw a perfectly fine conclusion to a storyline, we turned on the TV and saw an inexplicably beaten lady picking a fucking goat out of a line of black guys. And now your soft drink is in there. In there with all of that other stuff.
Is anyone else thirsty?