New Sprite ad may be in for some blowback.
A new commercial from Saatchi & Saatchi Denmark for Sprite Zero is currently doing the rounds on the web, and getting a mixed reaction. Adrant calls it “good in the way that frat boy pranks are good,” while a friend of mine who saw it said “that’s horrible and makes me hate the advertising industry even more than I already did.”
The ad opens on a couple sleeping in a parked car in an alpine resort, awoken by their ski bum friends who have decided to fire a giant snow cannon into the vehicle through the trunk. Apparently it “hasn’t aired yet”, which is often code in the advertising industry for “we made this for YouTube because we couldn’t get away with this on real TV.”
It’s all shot hand-held, so it feels just like a real YouTube video, or Cloverfield, and it’s pretty funny, until the snow cannon blows the car containing the screaming couple over the edge of what looks like a huge cliff at the end, in what looks like a tragic car accident snuff movie being used to sell fizzy drinks.
42,642 people in the U.S. alone died in car accidents in 2006, some 245,000 people since 9/11. Politicians don’t want to talk about how dangerous our roads (and especially our SUVs) are, but it’s ok for advertisers to use car accidents to sell soda? I think we’ll be hearing some noise around this.
The thing that bothers me is why viral videos, which I’m a huge fan of, are increasingly going as low-brow as they possibly can. This was a funny video until the car accident bit. I got it, Sprite Zero is really cold and will wake you up and refresh you and those guys at Sprite are hilarious and really “extreme” and stuff. The mission was well and truly accomplished. The video would have been just as effective without the tragic ending, the only difference is now I suspect a lot of people won’t be buying Sprite Zero and in a few days time Bill O’Reilly will get involved and they’ll be a huge apology from Coca-Cola or something. But maybe that was the idea all along.
I don’t know how much worse things can get, unless it turns out 2girls1cup was a viral marketing video for this book.