Monday, August 4, 2008

Diet Pepsi MAX

1.  Possible nostalgic ads:

A.  Starbucks Doubleshot--Plays on the classic Survivor song with new lyrics to match the modern corporate world. "Glen...Glen, Glen, Glen!" 

B.  NBA Remembers Where Amazing Happens--Features the Badfinger song "Day After Day" and Boston Celtics fans at the moment that Kevin Garnett held the press conference to announce his transfer to the Celtics.  Commercial starts with the lyrics "I remember..." 

C.  Enzyte--Commercial presents a 1950's carefree world and Bob as he gains confidence from Enzyte and a swarm of ladies.  Uses the classic camp song to reinforce the idea of a worry-free life thanks to Enzyte.    

2.  Diet Pepsi Max 

3.  This ad aired on the 2008 Super Bowl Half-Time Show.  It plays on the popularity and humor of the 1998 SNL skits/film "A Night at the Roxbury" starring Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan.  Both the skits/film and the ad feature the 1993 hit "What Is Love" by Haddaway.  The ad uses the music to evoke nostalgia as soon as Troy Aikman's counterpart nods off to sleep briefly in the middle of the staged half-time report.  Only seconds into the commercial, the viewer hears the infamous line, "What is love? (echo, echo, echo)" followed by the digital beat that made it a smash hit in the early nineties.  The beat plays on to visuals of people nodding off in various places, such as work, game shows, cafes, award ceremonies, etc.  Finally, someone brings in a cart of the Pepsi product.  People drink and it all makes sense.  The viewer sees the head bob that made the SNL skits/film so funny in the first place.  Soon enough, everyone is doing the head bob, just like when the skits/film first aired in the late nineties.    

4.  The ad uses nostalgia purely for the sake of nostalgia.  It reminds people of a funny piece of pop culture that was tremendously successful among young and old viewers alike.  Essentially, it appeals to a huge audience because the joke of the commercial plays to the SNL audience, which grew for twenty-something years before they created the Roxbury skit.  By appealing to such a huge group of people, the commercial was destined to strike a chord with a least a few hundred thousand people, especially since it aired during the Super Bowl.  Whether they loved it, hated it, or just didn't care about it, the joke would surely remind people of the ridiculousness of the original skit and the good times spent watching late night television.  Some people might laugh, some may chuckle, and others could scoff, but almost everyone over the age of fifteen would remember it.  They even have Chris Kattan cameo at the end saying, "Stop it!" to agree with people who think the craze should have died and never returned.  It's quite genius because most people had probably just forgotten about it, but the commercial came in to play on the joke one last time before it would be outdated and completely forgotten.  The timing was perfect. 

5.  The commercial wants people to "Wake Up!"  It suggests that Diet Pepsi Max can be a savior from the boring, sleep-inducing life of pretty much everyone.  It shows all different types of people, from ranchers to office workers and ordinary parents to Galacticon convention geeks and pop stars.  With Diet Pepsi Max, the viewer can turn that drooping head into a hipster's head bob.  It's quite clever because the commercial focuses on the use of ginseng and more caffeine added to the product for more energy in the consumer.  Of course, the funny thing about the guys from the Roxbury skit was their energy.  It was quite ridiculous because they NEVER got tired.  They were hopelessly pathetic at picking up women, but at the very least, they had great energy and never gave up.  In this way, the ad utilizes the approach of constructive discontent.  It draws focus to the way people get tired during the day and presents it as a major problem.  But wait, they’ve got the cure.  WAKE UP with Diet Pepsi Max.  You may not like your job, you may not even be any good at it, but with Diet Pepsi Max, you'll never lack the energy to persevere, just like the Roxbury boys.  


Sarah Moriyama

Javier Garcia

Zachariah Rollins


leanne meador said...

This is one of my favorite commercials of all time. I like the fact that the producers used such a catchy song so that they could appeal to a broad audience. The song dates back many years ago, but by using it on SNL, they were able to attract a younger audience. I think that the commercial was very successful and it put a fun twist on things.

lrodrigue said...

I was never a big fan of "Night at the Roxbury" but I found the reference funny in this commercial. I liked that the commercial made fun of itself by having Chris Kattan tell two Roxbury wannabes to stop it. I found the ads comment about ginseng and extra caffeine nostalgic too because it reminded me of Jolt cola.

Jon V said...

None of these ads other than the one my group posted really takes me back. This one comes the closest I guess. Anyway, I've never seen Night at the Roxbury but I know of this scene thanks to Internet fads.
It's kind of funny to see something go from an Internet fad (as in tons of variations of the scene) to a SuperBowl commercial. It doesn't exactly evoke any childhood memories but if I hadn't seen the stuff online years ago I wouldn't have been able to appreciate the commercial.