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Snitches get stitches, fool *BLEAT*
May 1, 2013 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Mountain Dew Pulls 'Most Racist Commercial in History'.

The spot features a bruised and bloodied woman being pressured by a detective to pick her attacker out of a lineup made up of five black men and a goat. The goat torments the woman with sneers of "snitches get stitches, fool," "keep your mouth shut" and "I'm going to get out of here and do you up". The commercial was developed by hip-hip artist Tyler the Creator and features members of his group Odd Future, and PepsiCo has stated that they have removed it from all official channels.
posted by item (262 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
"We understand how this video could be perceived by some as offensive"

I am actually speechless.
posted by troika at 11:56 AM on May 1, 2013 [21 favorites]


Pepsi Blue jokes out of the way here, folks.
posted by item at 11:56 AM on May 1, 2013


Is the joke here that the cop is going is going to 'just dew it' and identify one of the guys?
posted by Catblack at 11:58 AM on May 1, 2013


Wow. That's not just racist. That's like, if Daniel Tosh and Anthony Jeselnik were given all the meth they could take, locked in a room for a week and told they wouldn't be allowed out until one of them was dead and they had produced the most offensive possible advertisement.



Hold on a second. I gotta go over to Kickstarter.
posted by Etrigan at 11:58 AM on May 1, 2013 [53 favorites]


"We understand how this video could be perceived by some as offensive, and we apologize to those who were offended,"

Just to clarify this a bit, below is a list of people who DIDN'T find the commercial offensive:

1.
posted by HuronBob at 11:59 AM on May 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


Every time someone says "Oh man, can you believe this shit," a creative's manager gets a bonus.

But I seriously can't believe this shit.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:00 PM on May 1, 2013


How the hell did that even get produced? Even overlooking the racism (which is pretty difficult to do), that's just a terrible ad.
posted by asnider at 12:00 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Breaking baaaaaaad.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:01 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


WTF did I just watch there? That was supposed to be a commercial?
posted by dougzilla at 12:01 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy shit. WHAT???
posted by xarnop at 12:02 PM on May 1, 2013


I am also totally stymied as to how this will sell Mountain Dew.
posted by troika at 12:02 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


The commercial was developed by hip-hip artist Tyler the Creator .. and it all makes sense. Seriously, the guy is a one-man controversy machine (etc, etc).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:02 PM on May 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


The fuck? How in the heck is that advertising a product?
posted by Carillon at 12:03 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, basically this is people leveraging racism and misogyny (seriously, what possible non-misogynist rationale is there for battered-woman humor?) to make money and get more famous. Obviously, people know this stuff is racist, they know it's misogynist, and they do it because it's racist and misogynist.

I think that's what makes it the "most racist" commercial - the regular old racist ones advertising chocolate or soap or whatever with caricature drawings didn't seem to stem from "this will hurt and upset people and that is why we are doing it".
posted by Frowner at 12:03 PM on May 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


Not even CLOSE to the most racist commercial ever. (Just read Frowner's post, he/she has a certain point...)

But it's not like you even need to get close to that "lofty" perch in order to be guilty of shitting out a commercial so bad you shouldn't be employed in your line of work, ever again.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:04 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you hadn't told me up front this was a Mountain Dew commercial, I wouldn't have been able to figure out what it was a commercial for, and would have thought "man, Pepsi is going to REALLY be pissed that someone was holding a bottle of Mountain Dew in this piece of crap!".

Somewhere there is someone that once had the authority to authorize production money for Pepsi that is googling "unemployment benefits".
posted by HuronBob at 12:04 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I could go for a nice cold drink right about now.
posted by roue at 12:04 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


What a strange ad. Only the woman can hear Felicia right? I want to think Tyler is making a point with that but I dunno..

Anyway, Felicia is well known to OF fans, she is Tyler's mom's pet goat. "Might fuck around and be a goat named Felicia"
posted by Ad hominem at 12:05 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, it got people talking about Mountain Dew, so I guess it worked. However, I now associate the drink with liquid racism, HFCS, and beating up women instead of just liquid HFCS vileness.
posted by item at 12:05 PM on May 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


According to the third link there's two previous commercials in the ad plotline that you need to watch for it to make sense. It's like starting with Return of the Jedi, except the ewoks sing a minstrel song and then urinate on Leia.
posted by theodolite at 12:05 PM on May 1, 2013 [29 favorites]


Dear advertisers of things I do not use:

Less this, more I shipped my bed.

Thank you.
posted by phunniemee at 12:06 PM on May 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


How does something like this even get out of the writer's room and made? Was there seriously nobody in the process that ever said perhaps this incredibly offensive piece of shit isn't going to help sell our cola and will most likely portray our product in a negative light?
posted by cmfletcher at 12:06 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Given that Tyler the Creator developed the ad, I see the misogyny as far more offensive here. Using a beaten and bloody woman as a joke, and her extreme pain at having to identify her attacker as the punchline? Really fucked up.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:06 PM on May 1, 2013 [20 favorites]


A more cynical man than me might imagine that Tyler the Creator says, "how can I make money without being seen as a sell-out?" How about creating a commercial that will never see the airwaves?"

But I'm not that cynical.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:07 PM on May 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Thing is, I know goats don't sound like that. They sound like this.

Pretty much having the opposite of intended effect on me, though - I may never drink another Mountain Dew again, and I used to live on that, snickers bars and cigarettes.
posted by Mooski at 12:07 PM on May 1, 2013


Just the other day we discussed problematic art that deals with racism. This isn't really art but I want to hear Tyler The Creator's - who does lots of controversial art projects - rationale before labeling it as racism. Not particularly well produced, though.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:08 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's like starting with Return of the Jedi, except the ewoks sing a minstrel song and then urinate on Leia.

Pier Paolo Pasolini's Return of the Jedi!
posted by item at 12:08 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thing is, I know goats don't sound like that. They sound like this.

I thought they sounded like this.
posted by item at 12:10 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


“Do a commercial and you are off the artistic roll call forever” -Bill Hicks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp4l7eASeOk
posted by Catblack at 12:12 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


cmfletcher: How does something like this even get out of the writer's room and made? Was there seriously nobody in the process that ever said perhaps this incredibly offensive piece of shit isn't going to help sell our cola and will most likely portray our product in a negative light.

I often wonder why ad firms, etc don't employ a panel of minorities, women, and savvy young people to give their products a once-over before they go public. It would cut down on a lot of racist and sexist stuff, catch unintentionally goatse-shaped logos, that kind of thing.
posted by troika at 12:13 PM on May 1, 2013


I don't get the feeling that people who make things like this understand the need for alternate viewpoints.
posted by elizardbits at 12:14 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


I....I got nothin'.

Holy shit.
posted by Kitteh at 12:15 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Racist taunts greet appointment of Italy’s 1st black gov’t minister, highlighting race problem

It was hailed as a giant step forward for racial integration in a country that has long been ill at ease with its growing immigrant classes. But Cecile Kyenge’s appointment as Italy’s first black Cabinet minister has instead exposed the nation’s ugly race problem, a blight that flares regularly on the soccer pitch with racist taunts and in the diatribes of xenophobic politicians — but has now raised its head at the center of political life.

One politician from a party that not long ago ruled in a coalition derided what he called Italy’s new “bonga bonga government.” On Wednesday, amid increasing revulsion over the reaction, the government authorized an investigation into neo-fascist websites whose members called Kyenge “Congolese monkey” and other epithets.

...


In addition to his “bonga bonga” slur, Mario Borghezio, a European parliamentarian for the League, warned in an interview with Radio 24 that Kyenge would try to “impose tribal traditions” from her native Congo on Italy.

posted by infini at 12:16 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


cmfletcher: "How does something like this even get out of the writer's room and made? Was there seriously nobody in the process that ever said perhaps this incredibly offensive piece of shit isn't going to help sell our cola and will most likely portray our product in a negative light?"

Grapist (potentially triggery for the "R" word implications). (Whitest Kids U Know sketch comedy scene)
posted by symbioid at 12:17 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to the third link there's two previous commercials in the ad plotline that you need to watch for it to make sense.

Interesting. In the right context almost anything is funny. It would be interesting to know if it all hangs together as one but is desperately inappropriate seen in thirds.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:18 PM on May 1, 2013


Well to put some perspective on this Tyler has been doing "comedy" recently. Some of it deals with specific stereotypes is a way people may find offensive here is one pertinent example.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:19 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a good thing Tyler has "the Creator" in his name, otherwise I might accidentally fail to spot the creativity.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 12:20 PM on May 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


The point here is that big companies, and the people who make ads for them, don’t want to be seen as "uncool" and will not condemn anyone who is popular, no matter how offensive they are. Just like many regular people.

That ad is fucked up and stupid.
posted by bongo_x at 12:21 PM on May 1, 2013


> I often wonder why ad firms, etc don't employ a panel of minorities, women, and savvy young people to give their products a once-over before they go public. It would cut down on a lot of racist and sexist stuff, catch unintentionally goatse-shaped logos, that kind of thing.

The ad industry doesn't readily accommodate people who say "no" to a lot of things, and making this somebody's job is mostly for the purpose of getting him out the door.

Saying "no" is the client's responsibility. Why didn't PepsiCo say "no"?
posted by ardgedee at 12:21 PM on May 1, 2013


"Snitches get Stitches" is not out of line for a brand whose original ad showed its spokesman (spokes-hillbilly?) shooting a federal agent.
posted by 445supermag at 12:21 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


What a world we're in where a black guy can -- on free will -- create the most racist ad ever.

I think that's gotta be a stretch. I mean, is it worse than Ancient Chinese Secrets?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:22 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


At this point Mountain Dew might as well go ahead and introduce that new "Hitler Did Nothing Wrong" soda they nixed not long ago.

I get the feeling the Mountain Dew marketing people have a fervent belief that YOUNG! EDGY! VIRAL! is pretty much the whole sum and substance of Mountain Dew's "image," so they're in a rush to drive that point home as much as possible. That's my explanation for why they get themselves into these ridiculous situations, anyway. I wonder if this ad will have a negative impact on their sales; somehow I doubt it, which makes me sad but we have to be honest about the reality here. A commercial filled with hateful innuendo, with a black guy behind it? Plenty of the core Mountain Dew demographic will still find it funny. It's not like they're trying to sell that green swill to neoliberal social justice warriors or churchgoing NRA members. The only thing Mountain Dew is really worried about is being associated with old white guys, and Tyler the Creator's stamp on this precludes that danger.

As far as Tyler himself goes, well, he's just trying to piss people off. And while I can't exactly condone his actions, it's interesting as performance art – "hey guys, who wants to bet me I can get Mountain Dew to produce the most racist and sexist commercial ever?" As much as he's a controversy fiend, part of me feels like there was a measure of the whole "Bamboozled" scenario here – "I'm giving you guys a script for a commercial that's so offensive that the blood will be on your hands if you are dumb enough to green-light it." Then again, Tyler the Creator is of course a troll; he clearly isn't doing this to prove a point, he's doing this because he thinks it's hilarious.
posted by koeselitz at 12:23 PM on May 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


A more cynical man than me might imagine that Tyler the Creator says, "how can I make money without being seen as a sell-out?" How about creating a commercial that will never see the airwaves?"

But I'm not that cynical.


That's not cynical, its naive. I'm positive Tyler was like "Yeah I'll make you a commercial, cool. Here you go BARRRRRRFFFFFFFFF. Thanks for the check now fuck off corporate assholes."

Sure, it's horrible, and not that funny, but I'm still laughing because for once it's the suits going "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" to each-other.

Tyler for Mayor.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:23 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Why didn't PepsiCo say "no"?

Because if the agency (or Tyler) was smart, they got paid up front and had a 'even if we don't use this you don't need to give us the money back'. So it was paid for, they can use it once, and maybe get some hot press on how offensive they are, which gets them noticed and in some circles actually improves their brand recognition.
posted by mephron at 12:25 PM on May 1, 2013


I think that's gotta be a stretch. I mean, is it worse than Ancient Chinese Secrets ?
Yes, it is. I didn't hear the dry cleaner refer to himself as a chink, and he didn't threaten violence against his battered wife. Beacuse his wife wasn't battered. Nor did he advocate open obstruction of justice. It doesn't matter that this is somewhat self-aware racism and that wasn't. This is worse.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:26 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's not cynical, its naive. I'm positive Tyler was like "Yeah I'll make you a commercial, cool. Here you go BARRRRRRFFFFFFFFF. Thanks for the check now fuck off corporate assholes."

I think it's naive to think Tyler had anything to do with it other than allowing them to put his name on it and signing off on the concept when it was presented to him by an ad company.
posted by The World Famous at 12:28 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


As far as Tyler himself goes, well, he's just trying to piss people off. And while I can't exactly condone his actions, it's interesting as performance art – "hey guys, who wants to bet me I can get Mountain Dew to produce the most racist and sexist commercial ever?" As much as he's a controversy fiend, part of me feels like there was a measure of the whole "Bamboozled" scenario here – "I'm giving you guys a script for a commercial that's so offensive that the blood will be on your hands if you are dumb enough to green-light it."

This is awfully charitable; I hope you're right.

Then again, Tyler the Creator is of course a troll; he clearly isn't doing this to prove a point, he's doing this because he thinks it's hilarious.

I find this overwhelmingly more likely. His parodic music video linked above isn't much better, and that wasn't made as a corporate ad.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:28 PM on May 1, 2013


It doesn't exactly portray goats in a very positive light, either.
posted by univac at 12:29 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


they do it because it's racist and misogynist.

Yeah, and that's why I roll my eyes at these corporate apologies. This stuff is totally done on purpose, in climate if not in instance. No, the executives probably did not conspire to cross this particular line and create this particular media uproar, but they are definitely conscious and intentional about using racism and misogyny generally to be "edgy" and appeal to certain demographics. They know it works.

Their honest apology would read something like, "We are sorry that we went too far. We will now try to retreat the exact right number of paces to get ourselves back across the line."
posted by cribcage at 12:29 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Anyone saying this is the most racist commercial ever have obviously never seen the Chinese baby Jell-o one.

Still pretty racist, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:30 PM on May 1, 2013


"Snitches get Stitches" is not out of line for a brand whose original ad showed its spokesman (spokes-hillbilly?) shooting a federal agent.

In fairness, the was a revenuer come to git his white lightin'. Folks don't be trampin round these hills, looking where they oughtn'ter, without risking a passel of birdshot.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:30 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think that's gotta be a stretch. I mean, is it worse than Ancient Chinese Secrets ?

or irish spring or lucky charms commercials?

all stupid, all questionable but not maliciously so - this mountain dew commercial is on a whole other level
posted by pyramid termite at 12:31 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, I drink a lot of Mountain Dew, casue I like the taste and the caffeine and sugar boost. I'm not exactly sure how this ad is supposed to make me want to drink more. But you should remember that the whole product idea (ad wise anyway) started off as a hillbilly/white-trash joke.
posted by jonmc at 12:31 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Folks don't be trampin round these hills, looking where they oughtn'ter, without risking a passel of birdshot.

makin their waaaaaaaay the only way they know how
posted by elizardbits at 12:32 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mountain Dew is just getting back to their roots. Orgianally MD meant moonshine.
And we all know that back in 1879, up in the hills, there was nothing but racist and goats.
Do not link to goat video's
posted by QueerAngel28 at 12:32 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think it's naive to think Tyler had anything to do with it other than allowing them to put his name on it and signing off on the concept when it was presented to him by an ad company.

The previous adweek coverage says that Tyler directed this series personally, and voiced the goat. That shit is coming out of his mouth. So...?
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:32 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I prefer Vault from Coca-Cola.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:33 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know what's more offensive, the ad itself or that ridiculous non-apology apology.

(OK, it's totally the ad, but that shameless PR weaselry is still pretty damn rank.)
posted by Rhaomi at 12:35 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


But you should remember that the whole product idea (ad wise anyway) started off as a hillbilly/white-trash joke .

and you should also remember that the original packaging had those hillbillies on the bottle/can

of course, i have in my possession half a loaf of hillbilly bread, with barefoot hillbillies and shacks depicted on it, so i can't talk too much ...
posted by pyramid termite at 12:35 PM on May 1, 2013


I miss Surge. Back then, all you needed to be extreme was a mountain bike and a mud pit.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:36 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


> ...if the agency (or Tyler) was smart, they got paid up front and had a 'even if we don't use this you don't need to give us the money back'. So it was paid for, they can use it once, and maybe get some hot press on how offensive they are, which gets them noticed and in some circles actually improves their brand recognition.

That's possible but not likely. There are innumerable ad campaigns that get commissioned and not run; PepsiCo, a Fortune 500 corporation, could easily bury this without the writeoff affecting their bottom line. For that matter, if anybody on Pepsi's side took offense to it in the way the public seems to be taking it, they could have easily demanded their money back or a free do-over on threat of suing the ad agency for working in bad faith.
posted by ardgedee at 12:36 PM on May 1, 2013


I miss OK.
posted by boo_radley at 12:36 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


The only and I mean only saving grace here is that at least the black dudes in the lineup were innocent.

I don't understand the "do rag" callout though -- it seemed like a "dew" pun, but then the camera went to the black dude who was actually wearing a do rag and it didn't look like the goat was wearing anything Mountain Dew related.

Ugh with the misogyny though. And the racism of white lady assaulted by one of a group of mostly black males.

Ugh.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:37 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure, it's horrible, and not that funny, but I'm still laughing because for once it's the suits going "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" to each-other.

Tyler for Mayor.


This really feels to me like giving him a pass for being an enfant terrible, and that doesn't make sense for two reasons:

1. There are a lot of other and better ways to be an iconoclast than to capitalize on awful shit like this, and
2. Nobody in a position of power is rattled by this. Not even a little bit, at all. I guarantee it.

So it's shitty and futile, and, you know, if I'm reading you right I have to say that it's kind of a wrong and stupid thing to be congratulatory about on your end, but whatever. Fuck Tyler.
posted by invitapriore at 12:38 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I miss Surge.

I miss Mello Yello. Tastier than MD, but hard to get up here. I don't know if it had the same sugar and caffeine levels though.
posted by jonmc at 12:38 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mountain Dew is just getting back to their roots. Orgianally MD meant moonshine.

Mountain Dew was designed to make bad moonshine palatable (or at least choke-downable), which is why it contains "Brominated Vegetable oil"; it coats the throat and keeps you from choking on rot-gut made in an old radiator.
I use it for medicinal purposes, I always have bottle at hand when I give a scientific talk at a meeting, it keeps your throat from getting dry (I seen too many speakers suffering from dry mouth and having to keep clearing their throat).
posted by 445supermag at 12:40 PM on May 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well I think he isn't just trolling, yeah he's trolling but I think he has some sort of point he is trying to make, he usually does even if it is a point we don't agree with it.

I'm going to withhold judgement till I see the other two parts. We don't know what the fuck happened in the story that nobody notices there is a goat in the lineup, and why the woman can "hear" Felicia.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:42 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


But you should remember that the whole product idea (ad wise anyway) started off as a hillbilly/white-trash joke yt .

That type of humor is weirdly complicated, and we don't see much of it anymore, because it was literally purged from television. But a lot of what seems like disparaging hillbilly humor was actually marketed directly to rural southerners, and so, depending on how it is presented and who is the target audience, some of it is just rural humor, in the way there are an awful lot of Ole and Lena jokes in Minnesota.

Mountain Dew originates in Knoxville, Tennessee and was first marketed in the 1940s in Marion, Virginia; Knoxville, Tennessee and Johnson City, Tennessee, and was originally intended as a mixer for whiskey. Also, the song they use, Good Old Mountain Dew song, is great -- it was composed by folklorist Bascom Lamar Lunsford, whose day job was a lawyer and often represented moonshiners (lyrics). Here's the great Grandpa Jones performing the song.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:44 PM on May 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


I think it's naive to think Tyler had anything to do with it other than allowing them to put his name on it and signing off on the concept when it was presented to him by an ad company.

I don't know, the commercial almost felt like someone acting out an Odd Future song. If someone put this commercial and several others in a lineup and I had to pick the one made by Tyler the Creator, I probably would have gotten it right.
posted by Edgewise at 12:44 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Point of clarification to all of your poor, misinformed saps: there is no Mountain Dew. It is, officially, Mtn Dew. If you want vowels with that, you'll need to get Mountain Dew Throwback.

(My office goes through a lot of M(oun)t(ai)n Dew.)
posted by phunniemee at 12:44 PM on May 1, 2013


A year or two ago, Mountain Dew ran a competition for a user-made ad. Here's the video my mate Fred, drama lecturer and performance artist, made for it. Spoiler: I'm not sure the drink was entirely to his tastes...
posted by Jakob at 12:44 PM on May 1, 2013


I always thought the guy on the MD Throwback cans was an old-timey prospector, not the cast of Deliverance, actually.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:45 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


We don't know what the fuck happened in the story that nobody notices there is a goat in the lineup, and why the woman can "hear" Felicia.

I... don't really care? Like, not in the least? I am 100% happy with judging this as worthless shit because it is using abused women as comic relief to sell a shitty beverage.
posted by elizardbits at 12:45 PM on May 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


I'm consoled that misogyny gets noticed when it's linked to a beverage. With the small things, you at least get small things.

I second the notions stated above, that humor is flexible, and context is important. I also believe in satire as a form of instruction: If, simultaneously, it makes you laugh and cringe, it's working. If you only laugh, you don't get it, and you need instruction. If you only cringe, you need to relax a bit. That sort of thing.

I don't see this "commercial" rising to any occasion except to induce groans, jaw-drops, or WTFs. I'm willing to believe that these assholes think it's funny. This is wrong on levels that range from the specific to the general.
posted by mule98J at 12:46 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess that explains why Mtn. Dew looks like carbonated antifreeze.

Jim-bob, you forgot to empty the radiator, this shine's got antifreeze in it!
Naw, I just put in a bit of Mtn. Dew.
posted by tservo at 12:46 PM on May 1, 2013


Ad hominem: " We don't know what the fuck happened in the story that nobody notices there is a goat in the lineup, and why the woman can "hear" Felicia."

C'mon, it's an ad for Mountain Dew, not Twin Peaks. There's no twist ending or whatever exculpating thing you might anticipate.
posted by boo_radley at 12:46 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm thirsty.
posted by mazola at 12:47 PM on May 1, 2013


Of course we do live in the age of "any publicity is good publicity" so that might be the ultimate motive of everyone involved.

*passes mazola a beer*
posted by jonmc at 12:48 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not sure a commercial made by kids from Compton qualifies as "rural," regardless of the product's origins.
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I... don't really care? Like, not in the least? I am 100% happy with judging this as worthless shit because it is using abused women as comic relief to sell a shitty beverage.

Fair enough. I may be wasting my time giving Tyler the benefit of the doubt here.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tyler is gonna be rich from all the work this scandal brings his agency.
posted by surplus at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Y'all realize this ad is working perfectly for Mountain Dew, right? There's no accident here, no one heard the pitch for this ad and thought "why this would be great to show on TV during family comedy hour!". It's a cynical "viral" marketing campaign designed for Internet hipsters who want to be entertained by whatever today's online outrage is. It's like the two minutes hate, only to sell sugar water.

Right here on Metafilter we have 81 visible brand engagements, not to mention all the hard-to-measure passive exposure. I'm #82.
posted by Nelson at 12:55 PM on May 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


I do not care for this gentleman and his views. I shall not be supporting his works.
posted by grubi at 12:57 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nelson: "Y'all realize this ad is working perfectly for Mountain Dew, right? There's no accident here, no one heard the pitch for this ad and thought "why this would be great to show on TV during family comedy hour!". It's a cynical "viral" marketing campaign designed for Internet hipsters who want to be entertained by whatever today's online outrage is. It's like the two minutes hate, only to sell su gar water.

Right here on Metafilter we have 81 visible brand engagements, not to mention all the hard-to-measure passive exposure. I'm #82.
"

This is stupid. I won't drink the stuff because of it, and I'm willing to judge people who mention this commercial unfavorably. Where's the value in that? Be specific.
posted by boo_radley at 12:57 PM on May 1, 2013


This ad is pretty unspeakable -- and yet also not even close to funny or interesting or commercially appealing -- but I do want to point out that Mountain Dew issued an unambiguous apology per the last link in the post:

Mountain Dew responded swiftly, however, yanking the ads and expressing their regrets in a statement to MTV News.

"We apologize for this video and take full responsibility. We have removed it from all Mountain Dew channels and Tyler is removing it from his channels as well," the soda company said.

posted by bearwife at 12:57 PM on May 1, 2013


General Motors also announced it was pulling its month-old Canadian spot for the Chevrolet Trax, as the Parov Stelar song used in the background included lyrics from Lil Armstrong's "Oriental Swing".
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:57 PM on May 1, 2013


Y'all realize this ad is working perfectly for Mountain Dew, right?

But how does people talking about how stupid and shitty they are online translate into actual sales? Or are you thinking that people will go out and buy a beverage that they would not usually buy because they are amused that other people are offended by a commercial?
posted by elizardbits at 12:57 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tyler wasn't chosen by mistake. Pretty spot-on OF's m.o. here, aiming to portray themselves as remorselessly transgressive and irreverent. Approving laughs from their in-group, and pearl-clutching/shocked disdain from everyone else is what they seem resigned to. It's likely naïve to think anyone on the production end is at all displeased with the reactions this has to be getting. It's sadly formulaic.
posted by perhapsolutely at 12:58 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Jezebel has a surprisingly (to me, anyway) neutral take on the commercial:

It's hard disagree with most of these comments until you realize that the five black suspects on the wrong side of the glass are the members of Odd Future (excluding two of the collective's most famous members Tyler, The Creator — who wrote the campaign — and Frank Ocean, who presumably had more important things to do). Of course, it's more than possible that they are being racist against themselves, but bear in mind that this commercial is a part of a series that includes Odd Future members as a variety of characters (most prominently as a cop and a diner out with his girlfriend at a fine restaurant)....

The Mountain Dew ads aired during Loiter Squad, Odd Future's sketch show on Adult Swim, and they were created in Odd Future's very specific voice for their very specific fan base. It becomes increasingly problematic and troublesome when you take it out of context. Then again, it's hard not to find something problematic with Odd Future.

But back to context. On its own, if the viewer has no knowledge of Odd Future/Loiter Squad (and we can safely say that the majority of American audiences do not), the ad certainly seems racially problematic, and you can't blame someone for responding negatively to it. Hell, even with all of the information, it's almost impossible not to respond negatively. It bears repeating that these are artists, known for controversy. Maybe they're consciously playing with racial stereotypes. Or maybe they just all wanted to goof around and play these parts in a commercial they produced; Odd Future's version of goofing around is going to be somewhat offensive and ugly by virtue of Odd Future being Odd Future.

posted by pardonyou? at 12:58 PM on May 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


this makes me wish I drank mountain dew so I could boycott the fuck out of it
posted by changeling at 12:59 PM on May 1, 2013


Tyler, "the Creator".

FTFY
posted by Splunge at 12:59 PM on May 1, 2013


YEAH BUT every single thing jezebel has ever said or done is wrong and stupid

so

*hands*
posted by elizardbits at 1:00 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have some respect for Tyler, but if I was CEO of Pepsico I would fire everyone who signed off on that ad
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:00 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


He was so creative he used his first name as his stage name. Um.
posted by grubi at 1:00 PM on May 1, 2013


Part 1 part 2 yeah I think I wasted my time.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:01 PM on May 1, 2013


you don't hire tyler, the creator unless you're looking for an uproar. i imagine everyone involved got exactly what they wanted.

also, one of my favorite tyler, the creator quotes -
Did you know Frank Ocean was gay before he came out last year?
Yeah, I was one of the first people he told. I kinda knew, because he likes Pop Tarts without frosting on them, so I knew something was weird.
posted by nadawi at 1:02 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Uttering threats in a police lineup makes no sense - maybe only she can hear the goat?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:02 PM on May 1, 2013


It's a cynical "viral" marketing campaign designed for Internet hipsters who want to be entertained by whatever today's online outrage is. It's like the two minutes hate, only to sell sugar water.

It makes me think the people at PepsiCo don't have a fucking clue what they're doing.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:02 PM on May 1, 2013


Warning: do not read the comments in that AdWeek article. THE STUPID IS MAKING MY EYES BLEED.
posted by duffell at 1:02 PM on May 1, 2013


But how does people talking about how stupid and shitty they are online translate into actual sales? Or are you thinking that people will go out and buy a beverage that they would not usually buy because they are amused that other people are offended by a commercial?

I think many commercials mostly exist as white noise that one subliminally picks up on. Who cares about so many interchangeable and mediocre boring ads about the best toothpaste or detergent? People aren't amazed or interested by those commercials, but when forced to watch them, a little bit of brand awareness is gained, and when in the grocery store aisle, is triggered. I think most commercials don't so much as grab customers as they latch onto them, like lampreys.

This is stupid. I won't drink the stuff because of it, and I'm willing to judge people who mention this commercial unfavorably. Where's the value in that? Be specific.

Counter-backlash contrarians who choose to drink the drink in defiance of the controversy.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:03 PM on May 1, 2013


you don't hire tyler, the creator unless you're looking for an uproar. i imagine everyone involved got exactly what they wanted.

They wanted Godaddy at the Super Bowl uproar, not Possible Consumer/Shareholder Boycott uproar
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:04 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Parts one and two are viewable in the OP links, in case you want backstory context/haven't had enough OF/DRTFA
posted by perhapsolutely at 1:04 PM on May 1, 2013


Not sure a commercial made by kids from Compton qualifies as "rural," regardless of the product's origins.

I'm not talking about this commercial; I'm talking about the original Mtn. Dew commercials, featuring Willy the Hillbilly.

While I don't drink Mountain Dew, I do enjoy the phenomenon of knock-off drinks, and Mountain Dew has some of the best -- many of them try to replicate the logo, and they either go with a hillbilly theme or get sort of confused about why its called Mountain Dew and so just go for some sort of pastoral name.

Hillbilly names:

Heee Haw from Hy-Vee
Hillbilly Holler from Fareway

Weird pastoral names:

Fountain Mist from Soda Stream
Kountry Mist from Winn-Dixie
Moon Mist from Faygo
Mountain Breeze from Safeway
Mt. Chill from SuperValu
Mountain Drops from Our Family
Mountain Explosion from Dollar General
Mountain Fury from Roundy's
Mountain Holler from Sav-A-Lot
Mountain Lion from Food Lion
Mountain Moondrops from Ingles
Mountain Yeller from Piggly Wiggly

I feel like almost all of the pastoral names completely misunderstand precisely why Mtn Dew named itself as it did. I would have far preferred if they had all chosen names based on slang for illegally brewed whiskey. Some suggestions:

White lightning
Hooch
Tennessee white whiskey
Poteen
White Mule
Homebrew
Skat
Stump Juice
Painter's Piss
Rot Gut
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:04 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


My take on this was...goat is in the mafia (goat is wearing a suit).

And the way the guys hold up placards with their names on it... They're not real names, it's their stage names.
posted by sio42 at 1:05 PM on May 1, 2013


pardonyou?: "Jezebel has a surprisingly (to me, anyway) neutral take on the commercial"

So it's, you've gotta know what they're about, right? And if you're a fan of the guy's show, you'd laugh. Because... Because then, there's this, uh... Anyway, you'd know about that. If you don't know them, then yeah, it's gonna look totally awful and bad. But if you do, then it's a thing where -- did you know they're all black? because, how could a black dude say a racism? -- and that should be ok, right? Anyway, Mountain Dew totally made these commercials and spent money on them.
posted by boo_radley at 1:05 PM on May 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


I think this this a super sneaky double-secret viral campaign to get people to drink more Scotch.
posted by mazola at 1:05 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Never mind. I saw parts 1 and 2 and it's not worth my time making sense of this.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:06 PM on May 1, 2013


troika: "I often wonder why ad firms, etc don't employ a panel of minorities, women, and savvy young people to give their products a once-over before they go public. It would cut down on a lot of racist and sexist stuff, catch unintentionally goatse-shaped logos, that kind of thing."

FTFY.
posted by chavenet at 1:06 PM on May 1, 2013


Bunny Ultramod: "White lightning"

This was a product from RC cola in the 70s.
posted by boo_radley at 1:06 PM on May 1, 2013


I always liked RC.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:06 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The spot features a bruised and bloodied woman being pressured by a detective to pick her attacker out of a lineup made up of five black men ...

Produced especially for the NBA playoffs?
posted by jamjam at 1:07 PM on May 1, 2013


I wrote...
Interesting. In the right context almost anything is funny. It would be interesting to know if it all hangs together as one but is desperately inappropriate seen in thirds.

. . . and the answer would be a resounding "No".
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:08 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


When the Odd Future guys do shocking things, is it art? Haven't there been plenty of modern art pieces that were controversial, shocking, and loathed by the public? Would it be classist and racist to deny it? I'm not talking about this specific creation, I'm just wondering if trolling can ever be considered art, given how often high-profile pieces of modern art are considered trolling.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:09 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


are you thinking that people will go out and buy a beverage that they would not usually buy because they are amused that other people are offended by a commercial?

Sarah Palin just had three truckloads shipped to schools.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:09 PM on May 1, 2013


And hit post on my phone somehow.

Anyways, point is this came across as some weird thing involving people in a band i'm not really aware of making some sort of weird mafia thing.

The woman's injuries make me think
"car accident" not "battered woman".

I don't understand this ad anymore than i do the ones with a pig or the ones for that car ins w two guys playing instruments at the end.

Granted i usually see tv at a bar w no sound, so i'm sure i'm missing something.
posted by sio42 at 1:09 PM on May 1, 2013


The woman's injuries make me think
"car accident" not "battered woman".


They did for me too, but after seeing the other two commercials I now come down on the side of "battered woman".
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:10 PM on May 1, 2013


This is how you sell Mountain Dew: (11:40)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:10 PM on May 1, 2013


That's like, if Daniel Tosh and Anthony Jeselnik were given all the meth they could take, locked in a room for a week and told they wouldn't be allowed out until one of them was dead and they had produced the most offensive possible advertisement.

Hold on a second. I gotta go over to Kickstarter.


Make that one edit and then end your pitch with the word "out" and I can guarantee it gets funded. (Although I'd also like to see some stretch goals.)
posted by straight at 1:12 PM on May 1, 2013


jonmc: "But you should remember that the whole product idea (ad wise anyway) started off as a hillbilly/white-trash joke."

Amazingly, the taglines for that first ad include "There's a bang in every bottle!" and "It'll tickle your innards!" and the scene is built around wooing a buxom young woman.
posted by chavenet at 1:15 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "Sarah Palin just had three truckloads shipped to schools."

Because Mountain Dew is a vegetable!
posted by chavenet at 1:16 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The dilution of the word "racist" is far more offensive to me than this commercial.

The commercial is stupid, yes, but then again I am likely not the target demographic. It absolutely plays on stereotypes of women, black men, police officers, and goats (evil bastards that all goats inherently are). I'd like to think I am intelligent enough to recognize when a stereotype is being exaggerated for comedic effect. (Poor comedic effect in this instance IMO.)

While it is insensitive and irreverent, having a police line-up where one side of the glass is white and the other side is black and a goat does not suggest to me that one race is innately superior to another, which is what racist means.

"Most racist commerical in history" is clearly hyperbole. People who think this is the "most <anything> in history" probably need to study more history.
posted by tempestuoso at 1:17 PM on May 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


oh thank god others found it also awful. i was having a wondering if I was crazy moment
posted by angrycat at 1:19 PM on May 1, 2013


holy shit this crazy old guy told me when I was at the county fair as a kid that Mountain Dew was goat pee. What does it mean.
posted by angrycat at 1:21 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think this this a super sneaky double-secret viral campaign to get people to drink more Scotch.

Joan already has that covered.

Well to put some perspective on this Tyler has been doing "comedy" recently. Some of it deals with specific stereotypes is a way people may find offensive here is one pertinent example.

It looks pretty much like every other L'il Some Guy from Around the Way hip hop video I've seen. Where's the comedy part?
posted by fuse theorem at 1:23 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't Dew.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 1:24 PM on May 1, 2013


funny, i was just reading on how to supposedly turn a partial bottle of mountain dew into a glow stick and my response was.. wait the hardest part would be to find someone to drink that vile stuff. Guess this is a Mt. Dew day.

Yeah, the only real apology would be the sacking of the Pepsi folks who green lit it, otherwise it's just a bit hollow.
posted by edgeways at 1:27 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm just wondering if trolling can ever be considered art, given how often high-profile pieces of modern art are considered trolling

I think so. I think art is in the intent, the intent to communicate an idea or even feeling to the viewer. That is what separates "art" from decoration and why I can't get a grant to sit on a chair in my living room but when you do it in a gallery you can. It is why someone can be an artist and never touch a brush, take their own pictures or fabricate their own sculptures.

Unfortunately I don't think this ad, taken en toto, communicates any idea beyond "me and my bros where hanging out and thought it would be funny if my mom's goat was all gangsta"

Well, if Tyler doesn't make it in the ad game at least he still has his sock sales.

BTW: in the lineup, they left out Lucas Vercetti.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:29 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, dumb unfunny racist advertising shennanigans. On the other hand, this thread introduced me to Grandpa Jones, so I'm gonna chalk this one up as a net win.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:32 PM on May 1, 2013


And that assaulting women is a joke. I wasn't kidding about the socks.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:35 PM on May 1, 2013


I'm feeling a bit dense. Is this racist because the suspects are black with "typically" black names, and because the victim is a white woman?
posted by averageamateur at 1:37 PM on May 1, 2013


aaaahhhh

he thinks "stereotype" is two words

one million years dungeon

no trial
posted by elizardbits at 1:37 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ugh, look away.
posted by buzzman at 1:43 PM on May 1, 2013



Just to clarify this a bit, below is a list of people who DIDN'T find the commercial offensive:

1.


....and the couple thousand white folk on their facebook page complaining about it being pulled and how 'not racist!' it is.
posted by Windigo at 1:48 PM on May 1, 2013



We got crab juice and Mountain Dew.

Yeeuch! I'll take the crab juice.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:48 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Apocryphon: "Counter-backlash contrarians who choose to drink the drink in defiance of the controversy."

It seems like the argument is "People will rally to Tyler and drink more of the stuff". How much Dew do they expect people to ironic-hate-chug?
posted by boo_radley at 1:50 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just to clarify this a bit, below is a list of people who DIDN'T find the commercial offensive:

1.
averageamateur
posted by morganannie at 1:51 PM on May 1, 2013


He was so creative he used his first name as his stage name. Um.
posted by grubi at 1:00 PM on May 1 [+] [!]

So do Nas and Kanye West, what's your point?
posted by lkc at 1:54 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


How much Dew do they expect people to ironic-hate-chug?

Kids today are composed of up to 60% irony by volume.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:55 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is stupid. I won't drink the stuff because of it, and I'm willing to judge people who mention this commercial unfavorably. Where's the value in that? Be specific.

The value is that you're talking about it. The value is in the certainty that you have lived with advertising all your life and that your average consumer believes that the sole point of an ad is to make you want to go buy something, when that isn't true anymore. For a product like Mountain Dew, what matters is brand awareness. What matters is that this is shooting through the blogosphere and various corners of the internet, and every single person who mentions it is also mentioning Mountain Dew.

In practical terms, here's what it means: Okay, you won't go buy their product now. You're a lost sale. But what you will do is talk about it. You might post on Facebook about it. You might post on your blog. People will see it. Your friends - most of whom will be in your demo - will see it, and they (and everyone who sees it when you talk about it) will fall into one of four categories:

1. People who don't care, don't buy Mountain Dew, and don't talk about it. Who gives a shit about these people. They're ghosts. Forget them. Collateral damage.

2. People who care and are pissed off and will reblog or share on Facebook or in other ways help to get the message out. Some of them are still going to buy Mountain Dew and some of them are not. Whatever. But they're going to talk about it.

3. People who are contrarian and/or don't see anything wrong with this and will buy Mountain Dew either in solidarity or because they were going to anyway. Weirdly enough, this is a much less important (and much smaller) group than Group 2.

3a. People who are suitably impressed by Tyler's street cred that they will perform whatever mental gymnastics are necessary to get to a point where they can say that they see what he was going for here. Also a small group.

4. People who are in Mountain Dew's target demo AND internet-connected AND will take note of a thing like this and maybe muster up a little bit of huffy outrage but not actually stop buying Mountain Dew. This group is a big fulsome hog waiting to be slaughtered and carved up.

So what do we have? We have an ad which has been produced and probably cost very little to make, and which is awash in deniabliity (you make it, you apologize for it, you're done), and now they don't have to pay for airtime because you and your various internet-connected friends are going to do all the legwork for them. Shit, you might even post it to something like Metafilter or Reddit, where x number of people will comment on it, but x times a zillion people will read it.

What matters isn't really that you buy it or don't. What matters isn't that you tell your friends you're not going to buy it. What matters is that you talk about it and use the brand name when you do. Because you - yes, you - are going to do PepsiCo the favor of taking shitloads of brand awareness and name value and delivering it from group 2 to group 4.

And what matters is the amount of real estate Mountain Dew can take up in your head. An advertiser who knows anything worth a good goddamn knows that of the two factors Intent to Buy and Willingness to Raise Brand Awareness, it's nice to have both but if you have to choose you should go with the latter. That's how this works: Your average consumer believes that the be-all and end-all of advertising is to instill intent to buy in you. The system works because almost everyone it targets is someone who believes they're too smart for it to work on them. Advertisers know that. They're banking on it.

Still don't see how that's useful? Shit, Chick-Fil-A straight up supports people who want to put gay folks in camps, and how many people do you know who pay lip service to LGBT rights but still eat there because oh man their chicken is so good? That apathy is incredibly valuable.

Again, this works because you think it doesn't. But it does. It objectively does. It's worked this way for years and it's going to keep working this way as long as people are willing to help spread a company's message while thinking they're doing the opposite.

If you want to do something about it, then don't talk about them. Don't give a company free advertising if you disagree with them, but be strongly aware that talking about them at all is free advertising, not just talking about them favorably. If you talk about how dumb they are, as long as you talk about them and mention the brand name, you're doing what they want. It doesn't matter if you think it's really advertising or not. They believe it is, and they benefit immensely from your belief that it isn't.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:56 PM on May 1, 2013 [36 favorites]


And if they are gamers, the other 40% is Mountain Dew Code Red.
posted by 445supermag at 1:56 PM on May 1, 2013


I prefer natural irony in my beverages. That mass produced high-irony syrup crap will just make you bloated and unauthentic.
posted by cmfletcher at 2:00 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


having someone from odd future do your ad is more about reaffirming a brand message than trying to get new customers. this is the irreverent flip side to beyonce's expertly maintained persona. pepsico is just trying to hit multiple demographics.

on preview - yes, everything FAMOUS MONSTER just said.
posted by nadawi at 2:02 PM on May 1, 2013


Animal attacks human for real on the intertubes = funny.
Animal is made to look like it's attacking human in a commercial = outrage.

Guys. The witness, who was lucid when she was assaulted by a crazy goat in a restaurant, gave a description of her attacker that resulted in the police putting five human males and a female goat in the same line-up, and the goat was the real attacker. The foils are always chosen because they match the victim's description in a general way. That's some good surreal humor. The missing punchline (what the hell kind of description did she give that could embrace five human males and a goat?) is a completely ridiculous, unsolvable koan.

I'd also like to note here that the first commercial in the series portrayed an interracial relationship in a completely unremarkable manner, which you almost NEVER see in a commercial. If this series is racist then it's not racist in the simple way that those expressing outrage seem to want it to be.
posted by 1adam12 at 2:02 PM on May 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


If you want to do something about it, then don't talk about them.

Everything you just said is true, except that we're damned either way. If we criticize the racist, misogynistic commercial then we're giving Mountain Dew the publicity they seek. If we don't criticize it...well, do you want to live in a society where major corporations can produce racist, misogynistic commercials without being called on it? I don't.
posted by cribcage at 2:07 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm constantly amazed by how often I wind up saying, "They had a meeting, and everyone at that meeting agreed that this was a good idea."
posted by ob1quixote at 2:13 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Any publicity is good publicity" as a saying always feels like "The customer is always right", in that they've both been given this weight and authority, mostly just because people keep saying it in response to things for generations, whether or not it's actually true (and in both cases, it usually isn't.)
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 2:17 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm honestly not surprised about this ad. The past umpteen years have seen an escalating arms-race in "fuck yeah!!!awesome!!!whatever!!!" advertising, which, in my opinion, reveals a real lack of maturity, self-control and objectivity in the industry. It's like the grownups have all given up.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:18 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is not racism. This is a manufactured controversy to sell soda. Pepsi has learned how to wield the Streisand Effect.
posted by foobaz at 2:21 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This might be a lot funnier if you were in OF, stoned, and personally knew the goat in question. Casting themselves in the roles of the goat-lookalike usual suspects, the cop, and half a fine-dining couple doesn't really seem that far-fetched or particularly realistically racist, once you've accepted a universe in which a hard-bitten talking Mtn Dew-addicted drunk-driving gangster goat is the antagonist.
posted by perhapsolutely at 2:22 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't wait till this guy stops doing things so I can stop paying attention to him.

Also, I know it's become a cliche for me to post these in OFWTFBBQ threads, but hey everybody, there's a new Ana Tijoux video, and if you didn't get the memo, she's kind of a badass.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:26 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


stoned

That's the biggest WTF, Tyler is straight edge, or so he claims.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:27 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Occam's Razor is just a tool.
posted by perhapsolutely at 2:33 PM on May 1, 2013


what the hell kind of description did she give that could embrace five human males and a goat?

Hint: It's an acronym used to describe the greatest rapper of all time.
posted by The World Famous at 2:35 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Thanks to FAMOUS MONSTER for explaining more about how this ad is working perfectly for Mountain View. It's 100% a brand awareness win. Why there's that name again, Mountain Dew, connected to a vile and offensive ad that is making light of assaulting women and may or may not be racist.

But none of the content of the ad matters, none of this current outrage entertainment here on Metafilter and the rest of the Internet. All that matters is the brand, the engagement, the words Mountain Dew. Because six months or a year from now at the gas station you'll be hot and thirsty and want something cold to drink, but something a bit different, and for some forgotten reason you're going to decide to "Do the Dew". And so Pepsico makes another $0.40 on a bottle of sugar water.

Maybe you reading this are the exception. Maybe you really will remember the hateful misogyny of this ad, the intensely offensive content, and maybe you've just started a lifelong boycott of Mountain Dew. Good for you. You're in a distinct minority.

This comment is brand engagement #150 on Metafilter.
posted by Nelson at 2:37 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hint: It's an acronym used to describe the greatest rapper of all time.

None of those dudes looks anything like either LL or Ali.
posted by elizardbits at 2:40 PM on May 1, 2013


Thanks to FAMOUS MONSTER for explaining more about how this ad is working perfectly for Mountain View

So this is all Google's doing? What ever happened to don't be evil?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 2:40 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


None of those dudes looks anything like either LL or Ali.

Hey - I'm not the one suggesting that Tyler The Creator is the GOAT. He is.
posted by The World Famous at 2:41 PM on May 1, 2013


So this is all Google's doing?

Lol, if only Metafilter's edit window were wider than 5 minutes. Clearly I'm somewhat immune to this kind of brand promotion. Or maybe this offensive ad is all really a stealth collaboration with the big G?
posted by Nelson at 2:44 PM on May 1, 2013


Still don't see how that's useful? Shit, Chick-Fil-A straight up supports people who want to put gay folks in camps, and how many people do you know who pay lip service to LGBT rights but still eat there because oh man their chicken is so good? That apathy is incredibly valuable.

What I don't get is like, how does brand awareness actually lead you to buy more of a product? Is it supposed to be a subliminal thing, like just thinking about Brand X makes you decide to buy it without realizing what's happening? In other words, did the people who were mad at Chick-Fil-A but kept eating there decide to eat more after the gay rights issue happened? It seems plausible that they were angry but it didn't change their choices one way or another.

I assume there's some social science research out there dealing with this issue.
posted by vogon_poet at 2:46 PM on May 1, 2013


I'd also like to note here that the first commercial in the series portrayed an interracial relationship in a completely unremarkable manner, which you almost NEVER see in a commercial. If this series is racist then it's not racist in the simple way that those expressing outrage seem to want it to be.

Hint: It's an acronym used to describe the greatest rapper of all time.

So, it's got messages, meta-messages, and social critique, all wrapped in fine humor? Tyler, the creator is a psociologist who chooses to transmit his findings through very sophisticated jokes in soda commercials? This sounds a bit like that guy from last week who wrote an article to let us all know that George Bush was smarter than us.
posted by micayetoca at 2:47 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


> And what matters is the amount of real estate Mountain Dew can take up in your head.

Well, better there than in my stomach.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:53 PM on May 1, 2013


I watched Part 1 and 2 and I'm just not seeing the outrage. I am definitely not the target demographic (being female and late 30s) but this doesn't really ping my outrage-o-meter. The "story," such as it is, flows "logically" from the first two parts. There is a context, whether you like it or not.

1. The waitress is assaulted by a customer (in the form of a goat)
2. The goat escapes.
3. She has to identify the goat in a line-up.

The people in the line-up are members of a band - would it be better if there were white members in the band? Are there white members of the band that weren't included in the line-up? That would be more suspiciously racist.

I suppose the ad did its job, because there was no chance I was going to think about Mountain Dew at all today, and now I am. Not that I'm any more likely to buy any.
posted by desjardins at 2:57 PM on May 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


If you want to do something about it, then don't talk about them. Don't give a company free advertising if you disagree with them, but be strongly aware that talking about them at all is free advertising, not just talking about them favorably. If you talk about how dumb they are, as long as you talk about them and mention the brand name, you're doing what they want. It doesn't matter if you think it's really advertising or not. They believe it is, and they benefit immensely from your belief that it isn't.

" Don't make us poke your eyes out Dad."
posted by The Whelk at 3:00 PM on May 1, 2013


Hint: It's an acronym used to describe the greatest rapper of all time.

I'll STFU after this because nobody wants to hear insane rap mysticism but aside from GOAT there are other goat meanings.

There is a sort of strange theory that certain rappers show "baphomet signs", and goats are a prime example. This stuff abut Baphomet is a legit thing in rap, almost as insane as the illuminati stuff. There are even Pro Baphomet Rappers,Here is Capital STEEZ explaining his concept of Baphomet as the god of alchemy when he is told that Baphomet corrupts the hearts of men.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:02 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are there white members of the band that weren't included in the line-up? That would be more suspiciously racist.

Yeah, Lucas Vercetti.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:04 PM on May 1, 2013


were still humans were cable of accending
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:05 PM on May 1, 2013


Listen, the less sense an ad makes while still barely making sense, the better. The more double entendre you can add without crossing any Puritanical lines, the better.

Kevin Durant's Sprint commercial is a good example of this.
posted by phaedon at 3:09 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think Famous Monster should get a prize of some sort for his analysis of the whole shebang
posted by angrycat at 3:17 PM on May 1, 2013


So, it's got messages, meta-messages, and social critique, all wrapped in fine humor?

No. All it's got is a guy who realized one day that the acronym GOAT is the same word as the animal. Everything else is gravy.
posted by The World Famous at 3:20 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think Ad Hominem should receive a prize for making this thread about Baphomet now. #arise #lightinside #thehoovedking
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:20 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


The dilution of the word "racist" is far more offensive to me than this commercial.

How concern-droll!
posted by threeants at 3:27 PM on May 1, 2013


ok, i just got home and watched all the videos.

i do not see how this is racist or misogynist in any crazy way.

the goat is playing the part of a lecherous old man who treats his server badly and then gets all hopped up on mt dew and goes on some sort of spree.

i was expecting after all this kerfluffle to see the goat beating his girlfriend or something.

the line up thing is i guess some sort of satire, i don't know, i just know that what stuck out to me was they were all holding up their band names and that's some sort trope or what-have-you in music videos i've seen before - band members are called out via some sort of onscreen text, either as a "character" in the video or as themselves.

i really don't get the hullaballoo. if it was supposed to so overtly racist, wouldn't the cop that pulled the goat over have been white? or something? i don't know.

tyler the creator is weird for sure but this ad is about a weird goat that drinks mt dew and gets weirder.


i do not get the outrage. based on what i read earlier, i was expecting something completely different than what i just watched (twice!). normally mefi opens my eyes to things.

right now i'm not getting it.
posted by sio42 at 3:30 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


on preview what desjardins said.
posted by sio42 at 3:39 PM on May 1, 2013


So I guess this goat is a Brand Nubian then?
posted by ShutterBun at 3:55 PM on May 1, 2013


I always liked RC.

and they had a pretty catchy song
posted by pyramid termite at 4:11 PM on May 1, 2013


It trips all kinds of knee jerkery but we might benefit from an explanation of what exactly the rubric for the racist interpretation is? Like, a walk through of how it's racially offensive, that doesn't just dismiss the sort of surrealist element, or the fact its creators and directors are apparently non-self-loathing successful black performers?
posted by perhapsolutely at 4:12 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dang it, I'm torn on what my feelings are on these commercials. I'm pretty sure that they're not "the most racist thing EVAR" and at the same time I'm not sure there aren't some uncomfortable notes of crypto-racism in them. All of which is really problematic for me, since Throwback Mountain Dew is one of the finest non-HFCS caffeine and sugar bombs available to non-military personnel.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 4:28 PM on May 1, 2013


"To be continued"!
posted by Flunkie at 4:41 PM on May 1, 2013


wait, the military has different soda?
posted by desjardins at 4:43 PM on May 1, 2013


no, you can buy throwback mountain dew in a lot of stores
posted by pyramid termite at 4:47 PM on May 1, 2013


wait, the military has different soda?

Agent Orange Crush?
posted by The World Famous at 4:56 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


i do not see how this is racist or misogynist in any crazy way.

A woman is beat up and it's presented as a funny thing. That's why it's misogynist.
posted by elizardbits at 5:13 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


According to the third link there's two previous commercials in the ad plotline that you need to watch for it to make sense. It's like starting with Return of the Jedi, except the ewoks sing a minstrel song and then urinate on Leia.

Ep1: Goat in restaurant beats up waitress due to Mountain Due making it crazy (its the waitress who we see in the third ad)
Ep2: Goat pulled over by cop with boot full of Mountain Dew.
Ep3: Waitress bullied out of identifying goat in line-up

Also: Tyler talking about the ad, briefly.

If the goat did it, then its the police who are racist, right? Because a lady comes to the police and says a goat beat her up, but the police still fill the lineup with black men?

But still: definitely a tasteless and misogynist ad. I think koeselitz has it right though: Tyler and Mountain Dew are getting exactly what they intended out of this - controversy and publicity. And we're all helping out with this thread. Ho hum.
posted by memebake at 5:13 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've finally watched it and I don't see the racism, but I see misogyny plenty. If it were random black actors, I could see racism, but since it's people in Odd Future, I don't really get it.

It's stupid and weird, but I don't know about racist.

Also what probably happened ad-firm-wise was if this was a web-only video it wasn't tested like a TV ad would be. They are usually focus group tested in a few rounds, but web stuff is usually dashed off pretty quick. That's my guess.
posted by sweetkid at 5:23 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


A woman is beat up and it's presented as a funny thing. That's why it's misogynist.

So, what, you're going to pull the argument that it'd be okay if it were a man that was assaulted? Or are we not allowed to laugh at this kind of thing at all, even though every concious person is aware it's not real? Or do we have to wait for a society where not a single bad thing happens to a single person to be able to laugh at a joke that uses a bad thing as its setup but not its punchline? Because the assault is not the joke, here.
posted by InsanePenguin at 5:25 PM on May 1, 2013


Yep, that's right. I'm a great big misandrist and you have exposed me to the world.
posted by elizardbits at 5:26 PM on May 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


I feel like it's less the fact that the woman is beat up and more that the goat is saying weird threatening things about "dewing her." OMG I don't know. I usually see the misogyny and racism fairly appropriately but I feel like I'm in bizarro world here.
posted by sweetkid at 5:29 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It isn't only that she got beaten up by a crazy goat, which as people pointed out might be something we would see on YouTube if it was a real goat.

She is then browbeaten by the police and bullied by a goat until she is "hysterical". It seems like a pattern of brutalization to me. This has really eerie parallels to battered women for me.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:39 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think advertising is likely to become more and more vulgar and offensive, because being outraged and upset by offensive advertising is something people still do. It's just viral advertising, except instead of people sending each other links to funny or clever ads, they sends links to each other of offensive ads, and talk and talk about them. If you ask yourself "didn't they realise this would be offensive?" the answer is YES OF COURSE they did, they are absolutely counting on you being angered or annoyed enough to devote time and space to talking to other people about that ad, which is so horrible, for that product. There was an ad for something the other day that someone made a FPP about, and I have absolutely no recollection what the product was: but it was a totally obvious "we made this funny ad disguised as something else so you would tell your friends and social networks about it!" and I think increasing numbers of users see those ads and immediately recognise what they are. I'd be surprised if they are really considered effective any more.

I think at the end of the day, any time you say the name of the product, you are helping them to brainwash yourself and increasing the likelihood of you, the next time you're standing in front of a refrigerator trying to choose a drink, choosing the one you were angry at, and not necessarily remembering *why* the name is popping into your head. And of course, you are also helpfully brainwashing your friends and networks too.
posted by Kaleidoscope at 5:42 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


but i thought tyler the creator was a darling of people with enough social pull to get commercials taken down with their outrage

goddamn it, stop changing, i can't keep my tastes aligned with the consensus
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:47 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Intimidating witnesses and/or victims happens regardless of witness and/or victim race or gender.

People are shitty to servers all the time, male or female.

Maybe we could look beyond this as a "woman victim" and just see it as a "victim"? Idk. Honestly, from what i've heard of Tyler from a former coworker's ipod i'm kind of surprised there was only a goat and not dead babies.

This is not some sort of wacked out social commentary. This is weird art dude being weird. Like Marilyn Manson. Or Lady Gaga.

Does it have to have deeper meaning? For some reason all i can think about right now is Jackson Pollock pissing in the rich person's fireplace while drunk at a party for his own benefit (i think).
posted by sio42 at 5:50 PM on May 1, 2013


sparklemotion: "And the racism of white lady assaulted by one of a group of mostly black males."

Isn't pretty clear she was assaulted by the goat? And that it wasn't a gang style attack? Aren't line ups mostly composed of one assumed to be guilty suspect and whomever is standing around the police station that vaguely matches the description given by the witness of the suspect? A line up of rainbow like ethnic diversity doesn't make much sense.


tempestuoso: "While it is insensitive and irreverent, having a police line-up where one side of the glass is white and the other side is black and a goat does not suggest to me that one race is innately superior to another, which is what racist means."

The white side of the glass isn't white. There are two white cops (the guy holding the Dew and the guy to the left of the clock in the background) and two black (or at least dark complexion) cops (the guy to the right of the clock and the guy who walks left to right at about 18s).

averageamateur: "I'm feeling a bit dense. Is this racist because the suspects are black with "typically" black names, and because the victim is a white woman?"

Me too and I'm glad the discussion is veering towards explanation because I'm not getting the obviousness of the most racist ever description. Maybe being Canadian I'm lacking some of the deeply seated dog whistle analogies though.

elizardbits: "
A woman is beat up and it's presented as a funny thing. That's why it's misogynist.
"

Is the victimization presented as humorous? 'Cause I don't see the attempted joke either. This comes off as a pretty straight up police procedural inspired ad. I mean is Law and Order supposed to be funny?
posted by Mitheral at 5:54 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Personally I was much more offended by this special I saw the other night with a woman called Amy Schumer, a comedian who is getting her own show on Comedy Central.

She's like, "I love joking about race" and then goes on - black people don't have jobs, Cambodians are all haha Killing Fields, Asian women are submissive and their genitals are tiny and that's why men love them - and Comedy Central's all, here, have a show? I feel like after that, I give up, I mean white people get show after show where they are just abhorrent about other races and it's supposed to be just a joke. This pales in comparison.
posted by sweetkid at 5:55 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


designjargonbullshit.com
posted by ob1quixote at 5:55 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I watched it again to make sure I'm not on crazy pills here.

I mean, yeah if it was law and order with a goat. But this is an ad where a goat is driving around with a trunk full of mountain dew, a play on like 10 different rap songs. I'm not really buying that everything else in the ad is jokey, yet the assault and intimidation are supposed to be straight procedural.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:26 PM on May 1, 2013


Isn't pretty clear she was assaulted by the goat? And that it wasn't a gang style attack? Aren't line ups mostly composed of one assumed to be guilty suspect and whomever is standing around the police station that vaguely matches the description given by the witness of the suspect? A line up of rainbow like ethnic diversity doesn't make much sense.

Well, and also, aren't the people in the line up all from Odd Future? So why would they put different people in the line up, if Odd Future wanted to do the commercial this way?
posted by sweetkid at 6:44 PM on May 1, 2013


So I guess could one of the several people who found this to constitute deeply offensive racist tripe, vide supra, pitch in here? There must be something to it--it can't just be folie à plusieurs. It's the title of the post, after all.
posted by perhapsolutely at 6:45 PM on May 1, 2013


OK, you guys have convinced me, we should all boycott Mountain Dew because it was racist to cancel this ad.
posted by 445supermag at 6:45 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


so the goat is always the criminal. it's always the goat. if you're a goat you should just go turn yourself in right away because you're probably guilty of something you don't even know about.

if you're a goat and you're not doing something that benefits humans, you're a fucking criminal.

fuck this
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:49 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything, I'm saying I don't see it. Also I don't think it's a big crime to discuss the commercial, even if it's exactly what PepsiCo wants us to do. I like discussing things that impact the culture.
posted by sweetkid at 6:54 PM on May 1, 2013


Ehh I'm not so sure who all those guys are. The guy with the eye patch is Left Brain. But I haven't seen most of OF except Tyler , Earl ,and Frank Ocean.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:58 PM on May 1, 2013


Isn't pretty clear she was assaulted by the goat?

Seriously, people. Tyler the Creator is, throughout the series, explicitly stating that he is the GOAT. Then, when the police have to drag in a line-up of people who match the description "the GOAT," they bring in the rest of Odd Future along with him. He's saying that he and the rest of Odd Future are the Greatest Of All Time. It's not rocket surgery.
posted by The World Famous at 7:00 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


What's rocket surgery apparently is how all that is racist though.
posted by sweetkid at 7:06 PM on May 1, 2013


Yes, Felicia the goat, who is incidentally Tyler's moms goat, who Tyler mentions in several songs committed the assault. It is all laid out in part 1.

Bizarro metafilter where I an critical of OF and others defend then is freaking me out.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:11 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it significant that Tyler chose a female goat to play him as The GOAT? Is it telling that the best articulation of sexist outrage in this thread must resort to the passive voice for its expression, conveniently sidestepping the gender (and for that matter species) of the goat oppressor? (The oppressor, I mean, who's also a goat. I'm not sure who is oppressing the goat. Well, besides the pigs, per usuale...)
posted by perhapsolutely at 7:13 PM on May 1, 2013


I actually believe that he chose to do the voice for his mom's pet goat. Not that he chose a goat to represent him. I think GOAT having a particular significance is a happy coincidence. Then again, the lyric in Trashwang off Wolf "Might fuck around and be a goat named Felicia" may mean he self identifies as a goat with a traditionally female name. Hard to tell.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:23 PM on May 1, 2013


does that make him furry or otherkin
posted by LogicalDash at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


duffell: Warning: do not read the comments in that AdWeek article. THE STUPID IS MAKING MY EYES BLEED

Similarly the comments on the piece by Boyce Watkins onYour Black World are for the most part pretty awful. Except they are at the same time enlightening because many of them lend support to both desjardins and sio42's lack of outrage. I think if you know the band, and/or you know the storyline of this particular goat, you just "get it" and it's like an inside joke that totally serves its purpose of keeping the cool kids interested in supporting the product while still grabbing the attention of the people who never really cared for (or actively disliked) the product in the first place.
posted by gubenuj at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


This comment is brand engagement #150 on Metafilter.

So you're saying this post is Pepsi (co) Blue?
posted by OrangeDrink at 9:20 PM on May 1, 2013


does that make him furry or otherkin
that depends on whether those are safe/mainstream/passe enough for him to use as twitter things
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:27 PM on May 1, 2013


possibly unintentionally, mountain dew has played an ad at least as racist as this.

mountain dew launched in australia a several years a go, with the slogan 'do the dew'

this is rather problematic, because in australia 'dew' is often a homonym with 'jew'

I saw the 'do the dew/jew' in a movie theatre.
The mountain dew ad played straight after the trailer for the boy in striped pajamas, I really don't know what the fuck they thought they were doing.
posted by compound eye at 11:04 PM on May 1, 2013


Soooo is the point that Mountain Dew makes you an asshole?
posted by stormpooper at 6:42 AM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Even tho The World Famous literally spelled it out, the GOAT as acronym thing didn't become clear to me until I was drifting off to sleep last night.

This commercial is like the worst pun ever. But ok also kinda clever in the painful way bad puns are.
posted by sio42 at 6:51 AM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tyler claims execs loved the ad. Also says he came up with it 5 minutes before the meeting and thought they would hate it.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:32 AM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


possibly unintentionally, mountain dew has played an ad at least as racist as this.

mountain dew launched in australia a several years a go, with the slogan 'do the dew'

this is rather problematic, because in australia 'dew' is often a homonym with 'jew'


Wait, are you seriously saying that the ad is racist because "dew" sounds like "jew" to you? 'Cause if so, you may find the racist in the mirror rather than on the screen.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:36 AM on May 2, 2013




Wait, are you seriously saying that the ad is racist because "dew" sounds like "jew" to you? 'Cause if so, you may find the racist in the mirror rather than on the screen.


what? how does that make any sense?
posted by sweetkid at 10:39 AM on May 2, 2013


the ad is racist because "dew" sounds like "jew" to you

"Jew sounds like dew to you, it's true,
but is THAT a good reason to stew?" said the Tyloo.

-From Dr. Seuss's unpublished works
posted by wolfdreams01 at 10:42 AM on May 2, 2013


ThatFuzzyBastard: "Wait, are you seriously saying that the ad is racist because "dew" sounds like "jew" to you? 'Cause if so, you may find the racist in the mirror rather than on the screen.
"

What he's saying is that "dew" is accepted racist rhyming slang and apparently has been for a while. Not just that they rhyme.
posted by boo_radley at 2:54 PM on May 2, 2013


Then I guess we're all in barney.
posted by The World Famous at 4:31 PM on May 2, 2013


What he's saying is that "dew" is accepted racist rhyming slang and apparently has been for a while. Not just that they rhyme.

Um, no. What he's saying is that in certain Australian accents, "dew" and "jew" sound exactly the same. Not that they rhyme--exactly the same sound, from top to bottom. The d sounds like a j and everything.

Also probably worth mentioning: "do" means "kill."

"Do the Dew" is indeed a really fucking terrible slogan if the announcer saying it is Australian.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:00 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Yep, that's right. I'm a great big misandrist and you have exposed me to the world."

oh no but you live on reddit gold!
posted by klangklangston at 8:22 PM on May 2, 2013


Tyler responds.
posted by chrchr at 8:23 PM on May 2, 2013


But this older black dude, Dr. Boyce Watkins, I guess he found it racist because I was portraying stereotypes, which is ridiculous because, one, all of those dudes [in the line-up] are my friends. Two, they're all basically in their own clothes.

He doesn't exactly come off as an intellectual here.
posted by cribcage at 11:37 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


He does come off as right though.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:50 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


mountain dew launched in australia a several years a go, with the slogan 'do the dew'

it's only fair to point out that the slogan was used in the u s for years without controversy
posted by pyramid termite at 1:55 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


ThatFuzzyBastard: “'Cause if so, you may find the racist in the mirror rather than on the screen.”

Regardless of anything else, I just want to say that this tendency people seem to be getting where they make a counter-accusation of racism when they think someone is wrong about a thing being racist is kind of silly and annoying. Seeing racism in the world, even when it isn't there, is not itself racist. It wouldn't even make sense to say that it was, unless "racist" is suddenly a synonym for "wrong."

I get the feeling that the impetus behind this is the idea that "racism" just means "an overemphasis on racial things," and therefore if a person is quick to see racism in something they're emphasizing racial things and proving they're a racist. But that's not what racism is at all. Race isn't evil, and seeing racial bias in the world isn't an evil thing. And there are most likely a lot of people who've experienced or encountered a lot of racism who can't really be blamed too much for seeing it everywhere.
posted by koeselitz at 3:43 PM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Tyler responds.

Tyler is either full of shit or is an even bigger dolt that I had previously made him out to be.
posted by item at 4:26 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Or both. Probably both.
posted by item at 4:28 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Regardless of anything else, I just want to say that this tendency people seem to be getting where they make a counter-accusation of racism when they think someone is wrong about a thing being racist is kind of silly and annoying.

My point is that if you hear words that are not "jew" and are convinced people are secretly talking about jews, then either you're Woody Allen in Annie Hall, or you are perhaps creepily obsessed with hearing references to jews everywhere and are trying to externalize guilt over your obsessions onto others.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 5:05 PM on May 5, 2013


My point is that if you hear words that are not "jew" and are convinced people are secretly talking about jews, then...

You've been on MetaFilter for more than a year and you're still not familiar with the concept of a "dog whistle"?
posted by Etrigan at 5:26 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Except, that, again, "Jew" and "dew" in that accent are homophones. So, not so much externalizing an obsession as hearing that in Australian English "dy" and "dʒ" are indistinguishable. And getting all het up like you're doing without knowing what you're talking about makes you look like a bit of an idiot more concerned with fighting political correctness than actually paying attention to what people are writing.
posted by klangklangston at 5:35 PM on May 5, 2013


It's especially not worth calling someone else racist over your own misunderstanding.
posted by klangklangston at 5:37 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


ThatFuzzyBastard: “My point is that if you hear words that are not 'jew' and are convinced people are secretly talking about jews...”

Man, reread the thread. You're the one injecting things into this conversation that weren't there.

compound eye: “this is rather problematic, because in australia 'dew' is often a homonym with 'jew'”

ThatFuzzyBastard: “Wait, are you seriously saying that the ad is racist because 'dew' sounds like 'jew' to you?”

No. compound eye just said it was "rather problematic" that they released an ad that literally said "Do the Jew." Not that it was "racist," and not that somebody was secretly a Nazi or something. "Rather problematic." And good god, isn't it? Can you imagine an ad agency releasing an ad here in America that uses a literal reference to genocide? That would be idiotic. Someone should get fired for it, because it is really dumb.

Honestly, if you don't think that's a rather problematic thing for a brand, I suspect you don't really know how brands work.
posted by koeselitz at 3:32 AM on May 6, 2013


My read was that Mountain Dew was being culturally ignorant by using the slogan "Do the Dew" in an area where it could be interpreted as "[kill] the Jew." It's like when Chevy decided not to use the model name "Nova" in Mexico, where the literal meaning is "[does not] go." (There are tons of more current examples of this, that's the first one that came to mind.)

Ignorance does not equal racism (or anti-semitism), but if an Australian with the local accent had reviewed that ad, presumably he or she would have said "hold up, this is not going to go over well."
posted by desjardins at 10:28 AM on May 6, 2013


[A few comments removed, cool it.]
posted by cortex at 10:31 AM on May 6, 2013


Apparently, my previous comment was too heated, so I'll restate myself a little more gently:

• I do indeed know what a dog whistle is. But if a term is to be understood as a dog whistle, you need to show some evidence that the speaker has a history of flirting with the term's less innocuous meaning. When Reagan, with his cozying up to white supremacist groups, talked about "states rights," that term fit with both the speaker's history and the term's history as a dog whistle.

But do you have any evidence that Mountain Dew or the ad firm that made the ad has a history of anti-Semitism? Do you have any reason to think that Mountain Dew or the ad firm would consider anti-Semitism a good way to reach their target audience? If not, you're just inventing a dog whistle, and asserting your right to tell people what they said, which is pretty obviously wrong.

• The assertion that someone's accent creates a homophone, and that homophone is the implicit meaning, is deeply wrong and more than a little bigoted. When my Dominican student says his homework will be "laid", he is not asserting that the assignment is in an egg, or having sex. He just has an accent, which makes some words sound like other words to people not used to that accent (others with that accent have no trouble distinguishing what Anglos hear as a homophone). If I responded to my student by saying "Are you telling me that your assignment is inside of a chicken?" I would be acting stupid and racist.

So no, the ad was not in the least "literally saying" something anti-Semitic. You are hearing something anti-Semitic, either because you're not used to hearing people speak with that accent, or because you very much want to hear something anti-Semitic. If it's the former, then you're simply a little parochial. If it's the latter, you're doing something rather ugly. To assert that the Nova is a poor name for a car in Spanish-speaking countries is one thing---amusing cognates often happen when words are pass between cultures. But to assert that the advertiser is dog-whistling is ridiculous and obscene.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:56 AM on May 6, 2013


if an Australian with the local accent had reviewed that ad

Just by the way, this probably happened. I'm not sure exactly if this was a new commercial for the Australian market or overdubbed, but the Pepsi Australia agency of record probably had a hand in it. Definitely in the media placements, but likely also production.
posted by sweetkid at 11:07 AM on May 6, 2013


I do indeed know what a dog whistle is. But if a term is to be understood as a dog whistle, you need to show some evidence that the speaker has a history of flirting with the term's less innocuous meaning.

I wasn't talking about this particular case. I was just correcting your blanket assertion that if one believes that a speaker who doesn't use the word "Jew" is speaking about Jews, then one is "either... Woody Allen in Annie Hall, or [is] perhaps creepily obsessed with hearing references to jews everywhere and are trying to externalize guilt over [their] obsessions onto others."
posted by Etrigan at 11:16 AM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


"The assertion that someone's accent creates a homophone, and that homophone is the implicit meaning, is deeply wrong and more than a little bigoted."

Except that's not the assertion, something that you keep missing in your desire to play white knight against the straw man anti-racists.

Your punishment is to listen to Accidental Racist five times in a row.
posted by klangklangston at 11:30 AM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


ThatFuzzyBastard: “So no, the ad was not in the least 'literally saying' something anti-Semitic. You are hearing something anti-Semitic, either because you're not used to hearing people speak with that accent, or because you very much want to hear something anti-Semitic. If it's the former, then you're simply a little parochial. If it's the latter, you're doing something rather ugly. To assert that the Nova is a poor name for a car in Spanish-speaking countries is one thing---amusing cognates often happen when words are pass between cultures. But to assert that the advertiser is dog-whistling is ridiculous and obscene.”

I kind of think we're talking past each other here, honestly. Sorry if I was fighty before, and if that contributed to that I'll try to move forward and maybe clear some of this up.

First of all: I think the "dog-whistle" thing is likely not really happening here. I'm not Australian, though – who knows. That wasn't an allegation made by the poster you were originally responding to, so I didn't focus on it.

Second – I really thought my "literally saying" comment was pretty much just a self-evident thing. I mean, in an Australian accent, if you say "do the Dew" you are also saying "do the Jew." Those are just the sounds coming out of your mouth; that's all I meant. I really don't think that necessarily implies anything at all about the motives of the person saying it – and that's why I think your formulation ("'literally saying' something anti-Semitic") is not really an accurate expression of my comment above.

Like I said: I don't think anti-Semitism was intended in this case (although, yeah, I guess I don't know). I am not accusing anybody of being racist. I am not accusing anybody of trying to secretly send a genocidal message. There's no claim here on my part that Mountain Dew or Pepsi are sending covert messages to Nazis or anything like that; at least I'm pretty sure they're not.

What I am saying is that it's problematic for them as a company because when people hear the phrase "do the Jew" they're going to think things. That's nobody's fault; it's just what the phrase sounds like. But it's likely to cause problems for Pepsi and Mountain Dew – as well it probably should. Like I said, it's not likely that anybody here is a big fat racist, but it's always a good idea to try to avoid making it sound like you're saying big fat racist things.

I mean: if you accidentally say racist-sounding things, it can make trouble for your brand, and it's probably a good idea to clarify yourself and make it obvious to everyone involved that that wasn't really what you intended.
posted by koeselitz at 11:43 AM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


koeselitz: But when you say "Do the Dew" in an Australian accent, you are *not* also saying "Do the Jew." Other people may hear that, but that's not the same as you saying it. People with accents can generally understand other people with the same accents perfectly well; it's usually only those who don't have that accent who perceive a homophone. As I said above, it may sound to my Anglo ears like my Spanish-speaking students are saying their assignments are "laid", but that is not what they are saying, and insisting that my hearing is more accurate than their speaking is far more problematic than a Mountain Dew ad.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:28 PM on May 6, 2013


"The assertion that someone's accent creates a homophone, and that homophone is the implicit meaning, is deeply wrong and more than a little bigoted."

Except that's not the assertion


----

possibly unintentionally mountain dew has played an ad at least as racist as this.
----

What he's saying is that "dew" is accepted racist rhyming slang and apparently has been for a while. Not just that they rhyme.

-------

Really klangklangston, if you're going to be that smug, you need to learn to read. Otherwise you just sound like an idiot.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:32 PM on May 6, 2013


But ThatFuzzyBastard, in your example you have a different accent than the Spanish speaking students (you are "Anglo")

What koeselitz is saying is this: Aussie-accented person is listening to tv, hears another the Aussie-accented person say "Do the Dew" on television, and thinks, "Crikey is he saying 'Do the Jew?'"

Let's say both Aussie voiceover actor and this hypothetical listener are from, er, Melbourne so have the same accent.

So that's why it's different.
posted by sweetkid at 12:32 PM on May 6, 2013


Jew eat?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:32 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Really klangklangston, if you're going to be that smug, you need to learn to read. Otherwise you just sound like an idiot."

If you want to play that game, go back and read what I fucking responded to. Someone saying that "dew" is racist rhyming slang is not the same assertion I responded to. You're conflating things in your zeal, and, to take a page from your book, is that maybe because you're a racist?
posted by klangklangston at 1:03 PM on May 6, 2013


It's unclear to me if compound eye has the same accent as the ad. Based on the Metafilter demographic, I would assume that compound eye has a much more "mid-Atlantic" accent, as thickness of accent tends to correlate with education and income levels, which means there's a class division rather than a race division. But whether or not that's the case, if compound asked the ad firm "Crickey, did you say 'Do the Jew'?", the voice-over actor would answer "What?!? No! I'm saying 'Do the Dew,' just like it says in every other Mountain Dew ad. You're misinterpreting my words because of my accent."

So the principle remains: If perception of someone's accent distorts the speaker's intention, it's the listener's perception that's at fault, not the speaker's accent. Insisting that people with accents need to be extra careful is prejudiced at best, racist at worst.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 1:04 PM on May 6, 2013


This is the comment in question.

The poster is from Australia, talking about a commercial that aired in Australia, with an Australian voice over actor.

I think you're working from a wrong assumption ("Mid Atlantic compound eye").
posted by sweetkid at 1:07 PM on May 6, 2013


If perception of someone's accent distorts the speaker's intention, it's the listener's perception that's at fault, not the speaker's accent.

Communication is a two-way street, even over the television. If a speaker's accent distorts the speech to the extent that the intended audience cannot understand it, it is incumbent upon the speaker to work to ameliorate that distortion as well as upon the listener to work toward better understanding. In the context of a television advertisement, you are talking about a "speaker" that is much, much more invested in having the listener understand than is the listener, and so the "speaker" should make more of that effort.
posted by Etrigan at 1:09 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The speaker was using the same slogan used everywhere else in the world. The ad firm had the words written on screen simultaneously to being said, which should eliminate any homophone confusion. It's hard to see how the speaker could have made more of an effort, short of ending the ad with a chirpy "I said d-e-w, not j-e-w." And if they'd done that, well, that would have been totally creepy and weird, which is how I'd describe the assertion that "people on my television are talking about jews!" when it's blindingly obvious that they aren't.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 1:21 PM on May 6, 2013


Yeah, I'm pretty sure Australians can differentiate Dew from Jew based on context. In fact they are known across the internets as a people with an uncanny and innate ability to read the printing on the cans of soda.
posted by 0 at 1:47 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


TFB, you keep using this example and inflating it to general principles. Those are what I am taking issue with, not this particular thing.
posted by Etrigan at 3:12 PM on May 6, 2013


Seriously Google Mountain Dew Mountain Jew. This reading wasn't made up in this thread.
posted by sweetkid at 3:13 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


sweetkid: I understand that others have made the pun. But I see no reason why everyone should be proscribed from using a word because a pun could be made on it. A friend of mine has a very amusing "Jewbacca" shirt. Does that mean Australians should be very careful when talking about Star Wars lest they be thought anti-Semites?

Etrigan: Do you have a reason why the example doesn't expand to general principles, including this case?
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:24 PM on May 6, 2013


Etrigan: Do you have a reason why the example doesn't expand to general principles, including this case?

Do you honestly believe that it's the listener's fault when an accent is disrupting communication? If I were to fly to Ulan Bataar and grab some random dude walking down the street and yell "WHERE IS THE NEAREST BURGER KING?" at him, would that be his fault because his perception of my language distorted my intention? Of course not.

As for this case, do you realize that you have spent four days arguing with an actual Australian, telling him that this thing that happened in Australia involving Australians is not really a thing? I mean, even putting aside your assertion that everyone else is a big ol' racist for... I don't know, for claiming that dog-whistley coded anti-Semitism has ever existed anywhere -- even putting that aside, you are being crazy condescending here. The international equivalent of mansplaining.
posted by Etrigan at 8:26 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do you honestly believe that it's the listener's fault when an accent is disrupting communication

I believe that when a listener says 'What you sound like to me is more important than what you think you are saying," then yes, the listener is at fault. Showing some interest in what people intend to say is a pretty basic prerequisite to communication. If the listener says "What you intended to say is less relevant than what your accent sounds like to me," then the listener is both at fault and kind of a bigot.

As for this case, do you realize that you have spent four days arguing with an actual Australian, telling him that this thing that happened in Australia involving Australians is not really a thing?

You cannot possibly mean to say that a person from a country is an authority on what happens in that country. Do you think CNN is a better source for U.S. news than Al-Jazeera?

I mean, even putting aside your assertion that everyone else is a big ol' racist for... I don't know, for claiming that dog-whistley coded anti-Semitism has ever existed anywhere -

I never said anything even faintly like that---now you're acting like klang. I am saying that this Aussie Mountain Dew ad was blindingly obviously not dog-whistle racism, and that I found it kind of weird and creepy that some dude, Aussie or no, was insisting that people on his television kept talking about Jews when they were obviously doing nothing of the sort.

If you want to suggest that this ad really was dog-whistle racism, show me a shred of evidence that Mountain Dew or this ad firm have ever displayed animus against Jews, or that they think there's some profit to be gained in showing animus against Jews. If you can't show me anything like that, then you're asserting that someone said something they didn't on the basis of their accent. And while that isn't exactly racism---Australians aren't a race---it is a kind of Anglo self-confidence that is absolutely racist in its origins.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:05 PM on May 6, 2013


Oh, and in your hypothetical: If this anonymous Mongolian said "I can't understand what you're saying," he would not be at fault, he'd be accurately reacting to his inability to understand you. If said Mongolian said "The words this crazy white man said sound a little bit like the Mongolian for 'Please steal my wallet,'" and took that as a justification for taking your stuff, he'd be pretty obviously at fault. Because he'd be willfully misinterpreting your words to mean something you obviously didn't mean.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:07 PM on May 6, 2013


[Keep it civil, folks.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:21 AM on May 7, 2013


As a Jew, I'm willing to rely on the average Australian's ability to distinguish, in context, Mountain Dews and Mountain Jews.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:51 AM on May 7, 2013


ThatFuzzyBastard: “koeselitz: But when you say 'Do the Dew' in an Australian accent, you are *not* also saying 'Do the Jew.' Other people may hear that, but that's not the same as you saying it. People with accents can generally understand other people with the same accents perfectly well; it's usually only those who don't have that accent who perceive a homophone. As I said above, it may sound to my Anglo ears like my Spanish-speaking students are saying their assignments are "laid", but that is not what they are saying, and insisting that my hearing is more accurate than their speaking is far more problematic than a Mountain Dew ad.”

Then at this point we don't really have any substantive disagreement. We're just arguing about a purely semantic question – does "do the Dew," spoken in an Australian accent, sound like "do the Jew" to Australians? – but obviously that's not really a very important question at all. The important questions are presumably all questions we agree on.
posted by koeselitz at 3:04 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think there is a dog whistle in this ad, but the MetaFilter pack may be barking up the wrong tree down here at the bottom of this thread.

Mountain Dew has been a good performer for PepsiCo within its traditional demographic of non-urban young white males in the plains states and the Southeast, and its advertising has had a distinctly country-- even redneck-- twist:
The snack and beverage giant built the country’s best-selling non-cola soft drink thanks to its popularity with primarily white consumers in the Plains states and the Southeast.
...
Look at a map of the U.S. showing Mountain Dew’s top-selling states and you’ll find a swath reaching from North Dakota east to the Virginias and then swinging back to Arkansas. Dew even outsells Coca-Cola in convenience stores in Georgia, Coke’s home state. Dew’s weakest territory stretches from California along the southern U.S. border to Louisiana.

Mountain Dew, once a nickname for moonshine liquor, was created in the 1940s by Ally and Barney Hartman as a lemony soda and spirits mixer. Early bottles featured a gun-toting hillbilly chasing a federal agent from an outhouse. PepsiCo bought the brand in 1964 but kept the down-home image: Its first TV ad used the slogan, “Ya-hoo! Mountain Dew! It’ll tickle your innards.” A barefoot, one-toothed mountain man raved, “Shore as shootin’, there’s a bang in every bottle,” as a curvy woman wearing a hair bow and Wilma Flintstone-looking dress took a sip.
But like everyone else other than the Republican party, PepsiCo realizes that demographic is in relative decline and would like to reach out to 'urban youth':
In a marketing push featuring hip-hop star Lil Wayne and street skateboarder Paul Rodriguez, PepsiCo is hoping Mountain Dew will catch on in urban centers such as New York, Miami, and Los Angeles just as it has in rural areas such as Nebraska and Kentucky. “Our biggest opportunities are in those areas with the highest concentration of consumers who probably haven’t heard the Dew message as focused as we could have” made it, says Brett O’Brien, vice president of marketing at Mountain Dew.
and this ad was meant to be part of that push.

But some of the particular young white males Mountain Dew has appealed to, and still does appeal to, are not necessarily all that well-disposed toward young city-dwelling males of color, and PepsiCo may have been worried about alienating them with this campaign.

That's where the dog whistle comes in.

While associating Mountain Dew with Lil Wayne and Tyler, the Creator may appeal to the new target demographic, doing that through an ad such as the one we're discussing, which perpetuates and reinforces the most viciously racist and extreme stereotypes of young black men (the young white woman has pretty clearly been raped as well as beaten, for example) constitutes a dog whistle that validates the worst prejudices of the segment of the original demographic which was at risk of being alienated, and serves the end of keeping it loyal.
posted by jamjam at 3:59 PM on May 7, 2013


jamjam: "the young white woman has pretty clearly been raped"

Whaaa?

I'm starting to think this commercial is some sort of accidental Rorschach test and people are just seeing what they want or expect to see.
posted by Mitheral at 5:01 PM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I knew someone would say something like that, Mitheral, but I really did not expect it to be you.

Allow me to quote Dr. Boyce Watkins:
Throughout the video, the woman is trying to decide whether to identify the suspect, and is being threatened by the goat who is telling her that you “betta not snitch on a playa.” The goat also starts out by saying, in a scruffy voice, “You shoulda gave me some more….I’m nasty.” So, I guess that means that the woman was s-xually assaulted by the goat, maybe Rick Ross style.

As the woman is shaking, crying and trying to decide what to do, the goat says, “Snitches get stitches fool.” After that, he says, “Keep ya mouth shut. When I get outta here, I’m gonna do you up (translation: Probably beat and s-xually assault you again).”
And please forgive me for altering your comment to conform a little more closely to what I see as the actual situation:
'm starting to think this commercial is some sort of accidental Rorschach in touch with reality test and people are just [not] seeing what they want or expect refuse to see.
posted by jamjam at 5:24 PM on May 7, 2013


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