Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I'm not really sure what to think of Pepsi right now. Not their products. I could really care less about that. I drink Diet Mountain Dew (a Pepsi product). Or garbage water as Kate calls it. She stopped drinking pop a few months ago, and isn't a big fan of my DMD addiction. Anyway, I'm not conflicted about Pepsi's products, it's with their advertising. On another note,  I don't think I've ever had an actual 'Pepsi'. If I drink regular cola, it's the lesser half of a mixed drink. Usually a Makers and Coke. I heart regular coke. Alright, back on track. Here's what's going on with Pepsi advertising:

Pepsi, I was with you though the dancing bears. It wasn't really my taste, but I was okay with it. Whatever. I also stuck with DMD even after the barrage of extreme sports commericals. I'm not going snowboarding tomorrow and I doubt I'll ever ride a BMX bike, but I'll still drink my DMD. But in the last month, you've really lost me. 

First there was the Obama knockoff commercial. These started right around the inauguration. Pepsi was using the 'yes we can' song and their logo sort of morphed into Obama's logo. I don't think I can write much more without commenting on how amazing it is that our president actually has a logo now, and that multinational conglomerates would actually try to knock off the president's logo. I'm not Doris Kearns Goodwin, but I'm pretty sure that never happened with Millard Fillmore or Rutherford B. Hayes. How damn smart are the people who worked on Obama's campaign? I don't really care about your politics, but you have to admit that was pretty impressive.  I'm almost okay with this Pepsi discretion. Obama's logo did sort of look like the old Pepsi logo. So Obama sort of borrowed it from Pepsi, and then they adapted their logo to look like his. Sort of annoying, but understandable. The song thing still pissed me off, but I'll get over it.

Pepsi's latest offense happened around the same time, but I only realized it during the Super Bowl. Pepsi ran a spot on Sunday about MacGruber. It's a knock-off of MacGyver. Not super funny, but better than most Super Bowl ads.  I had seen the bit before as an SNL. Same characters, same running jokes, etc. So at first, I thought that SNL must have sold the rights to Pepsi or something. Then, when I was sitting in my cold ass house today, I thought that maybe the actual SNL spots that happened over the past couple of months might have actually been Pepsi commercials. And then tonight the interweb confirmed that this is the case. Doh. So Saturday Night Live has fake commercials that are actually skits, and they have fake skits that are actually commercials. I think I'm cross eyed, just trying to explain this. 

I'm not really sure how to to feel about this. The bits that I liked on SNL were actually commercials. Then the same bits were run as Pepsi commercials during the Super Bowl. As someone who does something somewhat related to marketing and advertising, I have to appreciate it. As someone who really likes comedy and the glory days of SNL, I'm a little sad. 

Sorry that this is a confusing blog post, but it's a damn confusing situation all the way around. So if you can follow what I'm talking about here, please tell me if I should respect Pepsi for doing this, or be mad at both SNL and Pepsi. 


Amanda said...

Point 1: None of this matters, because you clearly missed the epic detail... Richard Dean Anderson was in the commercial. RDA himself! He's awesomer than Tom Sellick and nearly as awesome as the NPH.

Point 2: The MacGruber series has been on SNL for what seems like years. It's one of those skits that just keeps coming back... never truly all that funny, but not as bad as some because they're relatively quick and ALWAYS end in an explosion.

Point 3: I'm okay with SNL leasing sketches to advertisers, if it means (at least somewhat) funny blended in commercials (like they used to have in the George Burns & Gracie Allen sort of TV days) as opposed to the annoying crap I fast-forward. (aside: <3 DVR).

Point 4: *shrug* better than the Ed McMahon (and MC Hammer?) gold scam commercial.

Nate said...

1. RDA did help the spot.
2. I think this is SNL's biggest problem. Bringing back not so funny sketches, and killing some of the best. I'd like to be in charge of which bits to kill and which to drop into every episode. They used to be way better at this...maybe it's because their cast was a little more static in SNL glory days.
3. Yeah, it's better than reality show bad product placement. Except for Biggest Loser, where there's the unintentional comedy factor of the trainers hating the fact that they have to schlep for Cheerios and Extra gum
4. Yeah, that was bad. I was better with Hammer being a TV preacherman.

Kath said...

DMD is garbage water.

Coke Zero is just like real Coke. I had it for the first time in January and thought they nailed the flavor.

MaryBe said...

Why would you mix anything with Maker's Mark?? I think that is actually against the law!

Nate said...

Mary - If it was up to me, it would just be an IV of makers directly into my blood stream. I have visited the distillery. It is my graceland. Makers on the rocks is ideal. In mixed company, it's a manhatten with makers, an old fashioned with makers, or a makers and coke.