There’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes that goes into pretty much every commercial you see on TV. Trying to find the right way to promote and present a product in advertising is absolutely crucial given the expense that goes into getting a spot on the air. Everything is carefully planned out to make sure the message corresponds to the product’s positive qualities in a way that will not turn off potential customers or make them not pay attention to what brand is being pitched in the first place.
Then again, there are always exceptions to the rule….
Chief Adman: OK boys, our firm just landed the account for Mentos. We need to come up with a brilliant advertising campaign that will make people buy more mints! Anyone got any suggestions?
Larry the Janitor: Seems to me you gotta have young kids to appeal to the demographic with all the money.
Mitzi from Office Supplies: Yeah! Young YOLO kids who do, like, cray cray shit! Have them encounter some kind of ignorant ass problem that they’ll solve with the help of MENTOS!
Chief: I like that idea. Kids in a dilemma pop a mint and manage to save the day! What else can we add?
Larry: Have the hero smile and wave the roll of Mentos in the tormentor’s face.
Mitzi: Oooh! My brother’s, like, a totally out of work songwriter who could come up with a killer jingle in between hits of LSD!
Skip: I still like my idea better.
Chief: Mitzi, call the rehab center and get your brother in our recording studio, pronto! Larry, go round up the unemployed college kids loitering in the parking lot! Skip, I want you to run down to Krispy Kreme and get those of us with actual advertising genius a dozen donuts to celebrate our success. And here, take this pack of Mentos with you just in case you run into any trouble along the way…
In the 90’s, Mentos flooded the airwaves with commercials that didn’t make one goddamn bit of sense from an advertising perspective. Each spot was a 30 second mini-story that followed the same insane formula:
1. A youngster encounters some kind of everyday ordinary problem.
2. Desperate for inspiration, the kid whips out a pack of Mentos and pops one in his or her mouth.
3. Our hero, who is now under the influence of minty fresh breath, does something totally ridiculous to overcome the obstacle that’s been placed before them.
4. The made-up antagonist reacts to being outsmarted by The Mentos Kid.
5. Having won the day, the brat holds up his pack of Mentos to further rub his retarded victory in the face of perceived evil while laughs are shared all around… probably because by this point in the commercial shoot, nobody involved in it could keep a straight face anymore.
And no, I didn’t make up the little pictorial story you saw above… it was an actual ad from this surreal series of commercials Mentos featured two decades ago, and here it is in all of its vintage early 90’s glory:
And if you think that commercial was fucked up, just check out some more retro Mentos ads that were created by the same chimpanzees that put together the creepshow above. Just sit back, click on the links, and watch as Mentos shows you how to….
Totally ruin a pair of high heels…. sheesh, WTF was up with Mentos and wardrobe malfunctions!?!?
And of course, all of this third grade chicanery goes on while your ears are being assaulted by the most nonsensical commercial jingle ever recorded. I’ve transcribed the lyrics for your befuddlement here….
It doesn’t matter what comes
Fresh goes better in life
With Mentos fresh and full of life
Nothing gets to you
Staying fresh, staying cool
With Mentos fresh and full of life
Fresh goes better
Fresh goes better
With Mentos fresh and full of life!
It looks like those lyrics were pulled out of a top hat by a couple of bored mintmakers with a tight deadline. But would you believe the Mentos theme was really just a 30 second remix of a full length song that may or may not have been released on somebody’s album? I can’t believe this hasn’t made the Mecca CD yet….
Whoever the musical prodigy is behind this 185 seconds of lameness that no 80’s song could dare touch has done a remarkable job of keeping a low profile. There’s almost no information at all anywhere on the internet about the writer or performer of the song that inspired the Mentos theme, or even what the actual title of it is. Somewhere out there is a successful musician who’s done a damn fine job of hiding a truly embarrassing past…
Despite all of the epic fail I’ve chronicled here today, Mentos mints continue to be as popular as ever and remain in the public’s consciousness. It helps to be one half of everyone’s favorite destructive scientific experiment that doesn’t involve building a tabletop paper mache volcano that will splash molten lava all over your kitchen walls. However, the strange way Mentos advertised its product has also been crucial to keeping the candy relevant through an almost endless way the ads have been parodied in pop culture over the last 20 years.
So for showing us that its minty freshness can give regular teens the ability to solve problems on the same level as a third grader, The Nest would like to give an explosively fizzy salute to Mentos for keeping it easy, breezy and cheesy. The next time we’re faced with Wednesday night artist’s block, we’ll just pop a Mentos in our mouth and watch as the Thursday comic practically draws itself while the Mentos theme endlessly loops! Then we’ll turn and smile at nobody in particular, and hoist our sugary roll up in the air in a show of victory! With Mentos, every day is fresh and full of life!