My new favorite line of advertisements are the Sprite commercials where some kids rap about the most inane things that anyone could ever think of. If you haven’t seen them, just imagine some kids looking straight into a camera and saying, “Yo, I was walking down the street and it was real neat, but then some guy stepped up and it made me feel heat. Then the guy said, ‘Yo, I like your beat, shorty.’ Sprite 2001. Peace out, playa playaz.” Then a word like “fresh” fades onto the screen along with the Sprite logo, offering a clever double meaning: Not only are these kids fresh, but so is Sprite. They’re both equally fresh.
In Sprite’s defense, they do most of their marketing research by reviewing middle school yearbooks from 1993 and then paying people who were losers in their high schools 30 years ago to figure out what the cool kids respond to today. Basically, they all sit around an oak table and say, “Well, guys, let’s think about Sprite’s target audience. Today’s kids are really into rap. So how do we incorporate rap into Sprite?” Then some other guy’s like, “Hey, we could have kids rap on our Sprite commercials! That would be fresh!”
These Sprite commercials remind me of the old 7-UP commercials where they presented the question: “Are U N un?” This question translates into, “Are you a slave to the man’s conformist regulations? Or do you drink 7-UP?” Their tagline may as well have been, “7-UP: We double-dare you.”
Does anyone remember the game “7-UP” from elementary school? If I remember correctly, the goal of the game was to put your head down on your desk and close your eyes and shut your mouth while the teacher went into the back room and smoked a cigarette and took some Tylenol to soothe her pounding headache. That game was fresh.