Mint Condition

More fun than the chocolate fountain at Golden Corral.

More fun than the chocolate fountain at Golden Corral.

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….

What follows is a re-enactment of a real meeting from 1991... which may or may not have been held on a giant surfboard.

What follows is a re-enactment of a real meeting at an advertising firm in 1991… which may or may not have been held on a giant surfboard.

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?

Skip the Intern: Hey!  Why don’t we show how Mentos explodes when you put one in a tuesday tvbottle of Diet Coke!

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…

This should help me get past that rabid dog on the loose.

This should help me get past that rabid dog on the loose.

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.

Hey!  I can't get between these two cars!  And I'm too lazy to just go around one of them...

Hey! I can’t get between these two cars! And I’m too lazy to just go around one of them…

2. Desperate for inspiration, the kid whips out a pack of Mentos and pops one in his or her mouth.

I was also under the influence of Mentos when I decided to grow my blonde mullet.

I was also under the influence of Mentos when I decided to grow my blonde mullet.

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.

Yeah, I'm passing through your backseat!  What are you gonna do about it..... FUCKER?

Yeah, I’m passing through your backseat! What are you gonna do about it….. FUCKER?

4. The made-up antagonist reacts to being outsmarted by The Mentos Kid.

Don't make me call the sheriff on this brand new state of the art cell phone I have here!

Don’t make me call the sheriff on this brand new state of the art cell phone I have here!

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.

Mentos:  The Carjacker

Mentos: The Carjacker

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….

Avoid your mother in the shopping mall by becoming a mannequin!

Deal with snotty waiters by becoming an unpaid employee!

Totally ruin a suit from the Mens Wearhouse

Totally ruin a dress from the Goodwill Store

Totally ruin a pair of high heels…. sheesh, WTF was up with Mentos and wardrobe malfunctions!?!?

Get a bunch of hunky dudes to help you un-parallel park!

The World's Strongest Man competition meets The World's Stupidest Commercial.

The World’s Strongest Man competition meets The World’s Stupidest Commercial.

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
Mentos freshness
Fresh goes better
With Mentos fresh and full of life!

Hey!  You forgot to wink and look badass while holding up your all powerful Mentos!  You're fired!

Hey! You forgot to wink and look badass while holding up your all powerful Mentos! You’re fired!

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…

My money's on one of the New Kids on the Block...

My money’s on one of the New Kids on the Block…

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.

Sometimes it pays to be a fucked up mess.

Sometimes it pays to be a fucked up mess.

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!

Powerful enough to freshen the breath of a dead possum!

Powerful enough to freshen the breath of a dead possum!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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21 Responses to Mint Condition

  1. the mentos guy looks a little scary to me… have you ever tried that mentos/cola bomb? I sadly did it… and I thought I’m old enough to know it better :o(

  2. Mentos were originally marketed by themselves, no agency, no distributor … unique in the candy biz. I sure hope this wasn’t an ad they created for themselves. It’s more like a cautionary tale! And I like Mentos.

    • I have no idea why or how these ads came about… but they definitely made Mentos a household name and were quite obviously shot on a budget. I also read that most of them were shot in South Africa.

  3. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Rocky Horror likes Mentos? Who woulda figured that out? I mean, besides the great Dr. F, of course 🙂

    I do know what happens when a 14-year-old doesn’t believe his science teacher and puts an entire pack of Mentos into a half-empty 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew. Thanks, Science!

    • OMG! That must have been an awesome fountain. Does it work as well in regular soda as it supposedly does in diet? I read that one of the reactants is aspartame, which I thought was exclusive to diet sodas…

  4. Twindaddy says:

    MENTOS!! I totally forgot about this insipid ads. Next time I have writer’s block I’m gonna eat a couple of Mentos. It’s almost like staying at a Holiday Inn last night!

  5. PigLove says:

    Snorts. OMP – Pop a Mentos and life is all good huh? I’m off to the kitchen now. I have a craving for Mentos and soda. I wonder if it works in your mouth? I’ll let you know. XOXO – Bacon

    • I want pictures of all the fizz coming out your snout! 😉

      BTW, my squirrel friend thinks that creepy blonde haired guy in the Mentos commercial might have been the carjacker he helped fight off the other day for your mom!

  6. crimsonowl63 says:

    Did anyone at the time NOT make fun of these commercials? I doubt it. Everyone in it looked like they were taking uppers. The mentos and pop thing works wonderfully. My kids thought it was so funny. I couldn’t buy pop for weeks.

    • I was in high school when these commercials came out, and the first Mentos ad I ever saw was in Spanish class, and it was in Spanish. It looked like a low budget international ad, so I didn’t think anything of it…. until they started showing up in English on TV here! They were definitely unique…

      I’ve never even bought a pack of Mentos before, and if I did, I certainly wouldn’t waste any of my perfectly good soda on one of them!

  7. merbear74 says:

    I’m just gonna pop this Mento’s…ah yes. Now I can take this opportunity to tell you that your blog is a breath of fresh air and makes me happy. 🙂

  8. 1jaded1 says:

    I couldn’t stop laughing while reading this…ugh I assaulted my ears for the 3 plus minutes of the song. We need to tell those crazy leaders of our nations that they’ve been doing it wrong. World Peace can be achieved by popping a couple mentos…silly national leaders…you’re welcome.

  9. This is brilliant. I MUST show it to all the teens in my life. I’ve been trying to explain all of those really bad old Mentos ads that I LOVE. Those ads call in somewhere between cat memes and B-horror movies on the pop culture scale of high camp. You gotta love it.

    Did you see the recent video of the guy who made a Mentos suit and jumped in a pool of Coke? I’ve got to find that link for you.

    But those McDonald characters… those are even too creepy for me. What was with those guys, the Puff and Stuff creepers and all of those weird costumed freaks? That is the stuff of nightmares. Sheesh and people say Vampires creep them out. Nothing is more scary than fast food mascots.

    • Thank you! I think this is the first time I ever saw cat memes and B horror movies ever put into the same class before! But you are right… these are all just so insanely dumb yet funny that they are good mindless entertainment….

      I have not seen that video, but I must go find it!

      Sometime, I’m going to need to dedicate a post to the timeline of creepiness. It seems like it takes 15-20 years for yesteryear’s norms to look so out of place and odd. Remember how everyone loved that dancing computer animated baby in the late 90’s? It just looks so freaky and weird when you see it now. I wonder if we’ll ever look back on today’s cute overload style and cringe?

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