Friday, May 3, 2013

The Edge.

I found this story a few days ago and loved the hell out of it.  PepsiCo hired Tyler the Creator to do an ad for Mountain Dew and the backlash was immediate.  People called it 'racist' and said that it 'made light of violence towards women' and both are probably true.  That's not what I loved about it.  What I really loved about it was the fact that PepsiCo got their hand bitten.

PepsiCo pulled the ad about thirty seconds after people pitched a fit, but thanks to the magic of the Internet, their little snaffu will be available forever and ever.

[EDIT]But apparently they are trying their damnedest.  Linked to one video that was already taken down at the demand of PepsiCo.  So that's.... adorable PepsiCo. 

It's included here, click it and watch it.  It's weird, yes.  It's fucking stupid.  It's borderline racist, sure.

But what is PepsiCo actually guilty of?  I don't think they set out to make a racist commercial, but it does expose the real racism at the corporate level.

It also shows, and we already knew this to be true but it's nice to have it confirmed, that they just don't have a fucking clue.

So what happened?  PepsiCo wants an ad that will be 'edgy' and 'real' perhaps 'extreme' and other dumbass adjectives that mean nothing.  They want to give their citrus-flavored, piss colored, sugar water some 'street cred.'

It's what they do afterall.  For reasons that escape me, they seem to be marketing Mountain Dew as a beverage you have while lighting your pants on fire and jumping off a skyscraper to improvise a safe landing.  This ignores the REAL Mountain Dew purists out there, I feel.  The True Believers in the Dew are men who's idea of 'extreme' consists of brushing stray cheese-doodle crumbs off their stomach.  Those are the real Mountain Dew fans.  Let's just face that right the fuck now.

But they don't want that image.  Okay.  So they hire some guy named Tyler the Creator to do an ad for them.  I don't know much about him, but I feel like I can say without fear of contradiction, that the man is a bit of a loose cannon.

But, hey, you want something 'real', 'edgy' with 'street cred', that's probably a good man to go see.  Or it's certainly a man to go see.

So he comes back with this.  Here is PepsiCo's first sin, the real racism.  If they had anybody but fat, white old men running that thing, if they had one or two black people who they listen to (don't forget that crucial piece of the puzzle.  They can't just have a couple of people who give their corporate photo a bit of color on the edges.  They have to actually listen to words coming out of their mouth) then they would have taken one look at this, arched an eyebrow, said "Have you lost your damn mind?" and that would have been the end of it.

Hell, if they had one woman there WHO THEY LISTEN TO they would have watched an ad about a waitress who gets the shit kicked out of her for laughs, turned to the guys in charge and said, "
You fucking crazy if you think you're going to air that!"

They don't have either.  That's what this ad says to me.  All they have is a bunch of old, fat white men who gathered around and heartily approved.  A black guy made it, afterall, it can't be racist, could it? They may have even liked it since it confirmed what they think they know about black people.  They slapped themselves on the back saying that, this is just what those kids today want!  Those crazy kids with their baggy pants and their rap music and pac man videogames... damn kids don't respect anything anymore.

Their other sin:  You want to be extreme?  You wanna be edgy? (Without the quotation marks?)

No you don't PepsiCo.  You want to sell sugar water and make a shitload of money doing it.  Tyler the Creator... I'm guessing he's a bit of a maniac.  He's a little out there and his world is not something you really want to put your corporate label on.  And he probably doesn't give two shits whether or not people like him.  He probably thinks that it's handy; it's quite useful that people like him, it means he gets to make a lot of money doing what he does.  But chances are he'd be doing the same thing regardless.

PepsiCo, you wanna come out where we live and stay awhile out where the real winds blow?  You wanna hawk your sewage in a bottle in a place where identity is nothing more then what brand of insanity you choose to put forth today?  Where people see humanity for the violent, evil, drunken monkeys that we really are?

I didn't think so.

If you want that image, your CEO would have to stand out front, point to the ad and yell, "Fuck yeah we made that!  We love it! Drink Mountain Dew bitches!!"

A lot of people would stop drinking Mountain Dew.  A lot of people would develop the kind of brand loyalty that would make an ad designer cum in his pants.  But they wouldn't do that, of course they wouldn't.

I realize that I basically saying that Corporate America is nothing but a bunch of soulless, greedy fuckwads which is basically like saying 'the sky is blue'

It's still nice, every once in a while, to look up and take comfort in the few constants in this world.

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