Who are the ad wizards who came up with THIS one?

I don’t see TV commercials much any more, and that’s a good thing. The awful thing about TV commercials historically was that you had to watch them, unless you wanted to turn off the tube or leave the room or change the channel, all of which meant risking missing the resumption of your show, which in the days before DVRs and such could be distressing.

Who IS this simpleton? Why is he blowing stuff up?

Who IS this simpleton? Why is he blowing stuff up?

The nice thing about print ads, comparatively, was that you could completely ignore them. You didn’t have to wade through them; didn’t have to wait through anything; you just looked right past them.

And the same is true of the descendants of traditional TV ads — video ads online.

But as my eyes glided over the one you see above, I couldn’t help taking in the words, “Winner winner, berry-flavored win sauce for dinner.” And that was SO stupid that I couldn’t help wonder about the video it went with. So I watched it — first without sound, then with.

It took me to depths of stupidity previously undreamed-of.

Really, what’s this about? “Victory in a can?” Victory over what? Who is this simpleton in an imaginary vehicle? Why is he firing what appears to be a missile containing cluster munitions at a flash of light on a mountainside? What’s his target? The Taliban? A peaceful village of llama herders? Supporters of a rival football team? What is the casus belli?

And what does this nonsensical activity have to do with Mountain Dew? And why would someone wish to imbibe “pure annihilation?”

We are offered no help; we are left to wonder

Stand Up & Win – Jerry Seinfeld SNL sketch from Anonymously Anonymous on Vimeo.

12 thoughts on “Who are the ad wizards who came up with THIS one?

  1. Doug Ross

    It’s targeted at millennial gamers. Young men (mostly) who play online fighting games for hours on end… and need an energy boost to stay focused. You are not the target demographic.

    Are you familiar with Twitch? Where people watch other people play video games online? Or the rapid growth of E-Sports where large arenas sell out to watch teams of paid players battle? It’s a billion dollar business in the U.S.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, I’ve heard of such. But it’s still stupid. Like I said when Jeffrey Collins of AP ‘splained what was really happening with Chris Hart’s wall thing — now it adds up, but it still doesn’t make sense.

      I knew it had something todo with young males’ fantasies, but I wasn’t sure what. I had very different fantasies as a young man.

      Personally, I don’t get the social aspect of gaming. I prefer to play the machine. I’ve tried playing people over the Web, and it creeps me out. Especially with a first-person shooter game. You get these 12-year-olds who obviously spend their whole lives doing this, and they slip up on you and take you out with a knife before you know they’re there. Talk about misspent youth…

      1. bud

        Yes, I’ve heard of such. But it’s still stupid.

        I suggest “stupid” depends mostly on one’s life experiences. Many of these gamer spectators might regard a person who sits on a hard wooden pew in a tax exempt building on Sunday mornings watching a kid swing a smoky pot around then listening to some guy (NEVER a woman) talking (in Latin) about people who lived 2 thousand years ago “stupid”. Perhaps it’s best we not be so judgmental.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Remember that next time you see a rally full of people in MAGA hats cheering madly at every stupid thing Trump says. It’s meaningful to them, and therefore of equal value to any experience that’s meaningful to you…

        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          … anyway, I was talking about the ad. No matter how many people waste parts of their lives watching other people play video games, that ad is still stupid. And I would think that for anyone who disapproves of war, it would be deeply offensive — blowing up something or someone (whatever or whoever is on that mountain) just for fun, just for the rush…

          But I suppose that if all pursuits are of equal value, you’ve got no business being offended, so never mind…

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Of course, I don’t fully get the idea of paying money to watch other people do anything, including REAL sports. But at least there you have grace, actual people doing amazing things…

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Part of my revulsion at this ad stems from its obvious attempt to appeal to some of the less socially redeemable characteristics common to my own gender.

    I’m reminded of some of the boys I knew when I was in the 9th grade in Bennettsville. We didn’t have video games then — Pong was a good seven or eight years in the future. These boys would — or so they claimed — play war in the woods of Marlboro County with shotguns. Real shotguns. The idea was that if someone blasted the tree right next to you (thereby demonstrating that he had you fully covered), you were “dead.”

    I’m still not sure whether they actually did this. I wasn’t about to go out there with them and see for myself.

    Anyway, those boys had an expression that they would have surely used at watching this guy blow up that mountainside: “GOT-taw-mah-dy!” Which is to say, “God Almighty!”

    Again, I don’t know if they did the shotgun thing or if it was mere adolescent braggadocio, but it’s not completely beyond belief.

    I know that a close friend of mine in college — we were copy boys together at The Commercial Appeal — used to play war with his brothers in Dyersburg, Tenn., using BB guns. And they really shot each other. In fact (shades of Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”), he caught a BB in the corner of one eye, and lost his peripheral vision on that side. He told me this to explain how he came to wreck one of the Memphis paper’s company cars when someone made an unexpected move in the lane next to him, on super-busy Union Ave.

    And he was a perfectly rational human being, by my lights anyway. Our careers followed amazingly similar paths. He would become editorial page editor of the largest paper in Mississippi, at the same time I held the same position in South Carolina. So SOMEBODY thought he had good judgment.

    Anyway, bottom line — boys don’t need anybody encouraging them to celebrate blowing stuff up. We’re fully capable of coming up with such stupid stuff on our own…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Of course, I can see an argument for channeling these impulses to do stupid things into the virtual world.

      But something about that is creepy.

      For instance, I keep reading about how young people have less sex these days than we did back in the day, in part because their relationships (to say nothing of all that porn) are predominantly online. (I read another such piece just today.)

      And yeah, that avoids a lot of STDs and unwanted pregnancies and such. But I have to wonder whether it bodes well for our species to be withdrawing from both the best and worst aspects of real life…

  3. Harry Harris

    Ad developers seem sometimes like architects and decorators to me – their job is to convince the client that something ugly or dumb is trendy, fashionable, and cool. They know best, even though it’s the client’s money they are spending.

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