Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Because Really, Don't We All Want a Party in a Can?

Years ago -- the early 90's, I think -- Sprite ran a fun, subversive little ad campaign that involved mocking the tropes of soft drink ad campaigns. They turned the tropes up to eleven and then contrasted the overblown hype with Sprite, and the slogan "Image is nothing. Taste is everything. Obey your thirst."

I enjoyed those ads. They were fun, clever and aimed right at my cynical, media-saturated Gen X heart.

My favourite was a commercial within a commercial. Two slacker-types watching TV see an ad for a soft drink called "Jooky". "Jooky: It's a party in a can!" A beach party, girls in bikinis, everybody happy and dancing, a totally over-the-top jingle actually explicating all the implicit promises of commercials -- "Jooky make you really kooky, Jooky make you manly man!"

Then the two slackers, with expressions of great anticipation, pop the tabs on their cans of Jooky. Nothing happens. No beach party. "Aw, mine's broken," says one. Cut to the Sprite slogan: "Image is nothing," etc.

Much as I loved the ad, it didn't work as intended, at least not on me. I don't drink citrus-based pops -- they upset my stomach. I was never going to buy Sprite. So what was my take-away?

Well, I understood the intent, and I appreciated the satirical sting of the commercial-within-the-commercial. I loved seeing the strings of advertising's ridiculous subtextual promises laid bare.

And I didn't care. Because after I saw that ad, all I wanted was a can of Jooky.

To this day, I still want a can of Jooky.

1 comment:

Rob Clark said...

I had the exact same reaction to this ad. I wanted - nay - NEEDED to have Jooky. Did you ever see the followup Jooky ad, Jooky Junk who wouldn't want to win the Jooky Sea Captain?