Twitter all but exploded when Mountain Dew showed its Super Bowl ad, in which a Puppy Monkey Baby gives a few dudes on a couch a new drink while repeating its own name over and over, as if it were a particularly ill-designed Pokémon.
You can watch the ad above, if you hate yourself.
Some people found it disturbing and some thought it was scary. The tired argument of whether getting us talking at all is a good thing will be repeated. But companies don't spend millions of dollars to get people talking; it's hard to make money from talk. The point is to sell sugary drinks to people. If that doesn't happen, the whole thing was a waste.
So is anyone ready to buy some soda?
Puppy Monkey Baby is lazy
Which is why the ad was such a dumb misfire. The point is supposed to be that three things that may not always go together actually work well together, but nothing about Puppy Monkey Baby works. It's poorly conceived. Even the people on the couch don't know how to respond. Are they repulsed? Intrigued? Why does the one guy lean forward to let the thing lick him? Did they create it?
The repetition of the words Puppy Monkey Baby, combined with the helpful hashtag at the end, make it clear that the writers of the ad really hope you remember the words "Puppy Monkey Baby" and tweet about it, but what good does that get them?
I know it was a Mountain Dew ad because I looked it up before writing this story and, having done so, I've already forgotten the name of the soda itself I'm supposed to be buying. I know it's a mixture of juice, caffeine and soda however, because the idea of those three things in a big can being served by an outcast from the island of Dr. Moreau made me instinctively gag.
The point isn't that mixing three things that don't go together ended well; the point seems to be that you should want to put the damned thing out of its misery as soon as possible. That doesn't make me want to dance, that makes me want to get a pillow, some rubbing alcohol and take care of things as humanely as possible while crying and repeating the words "I'm sorry" as my children dig a shallow grave out back.
The company tried to make fetch happen throughout the rest of the Super Bowl.
This is what it looks like when a #brand tries to connect with the internet without really understanding why some things catch on. They think generic weirdness will do it and, outside of the fact we're all talking about how bad the ad is, it's unlikely anyone is more likely to buy a new soda based on being licked by a talking puppy with a baby's legs.
It's painfully obvious how hard this ad is trying to "go viral," but Mountain Dew has finally lapsed into self-parody. And not the self-aware brand of self-parody. They're now in this stage: