Famous Prankster 'The Internet' Hijacks Another Promotional Campaign

from the you-really-can't-specify-which-'crowd'-you-want-to-'source'- dept

You know what The Internet does better than nearly anything else? If you answered, “Provide me with a creative and useful list of potential product names,” go ahead and add that to the PowerPoint deck and hope no one asks for a citation. If you answered, “Find some way to add bodily fluids, Hitler and 'manual override' to our branded site featuring our prominent logo,” go ahead and add that to your “Life Experiences” portfolio you’re currently boxing up under the watchful eye of your security escort over at PepsiCo’s headquarters.

Understandably, PepsiCo probably felt safe doing this. After all, when it had run a rather straightforward campaign, in which Facebook users voted for the next Mtn Dew flavor, it had the good sense to limit The Internet’s input to three buttons. Perhaps feeling a bit overconfident, PepsiCo went to the same well again, hoping to name its new green apple-flavored soda. Only this time, it thought the Mtn Dew-swilling internet denizens might appreciate a bit more interaction. But giving The Internet an open text box for submissions without even bothering to do even the most cursory vetting of replies is only going to end the way everyone (but the corporate marketing team) knew it would: depravity mixed with Godwin’s law, garnished with a side of Wilford Brimley.

Here’s the voting results as seen shortly before the site went down:

Beyond the weird Grandma fetish and the masturbation jokes is a long list of (believe it or not) more offensive suggestions, snagged for posterity by a helpful reddit user. (Link only. Gallery runs seven pages deep and includes some other hilarious suggestions for the new Dew name, including “Coke,” “Sierra Mist,” “Never Going To Give You Upple,”WE’VE RUN OUT OF COLORS,” “Solient Green,” and, of course, “mtn jew.” Reading list out loud probably NSFW.)

Here’s a slightly earlier version, which seems to have appeared before some rudimentary cleanup was performed by the Dew team, which not only brings one of The Internet’s favorite references to the top of the list, but also drops a completely trollish scrolling headline right over the top of the website:

Mtn Dew’s official Twitter account ceded the battle on the 14th, having given up its dream of something usable like “Tempest” or “Green Flash” score near the top of the list. (Sadly, I don’t think “Methamphetagreen” will make the cut.) A very concise concession, done neatly in less than 140 characters but still resonant enough to make one feel momentarily bad about splattering well-aged fluids all over the “little guy” who happened to be in the wrong place ('The Internet') at the wrong time ('ALWAYS').

Adding to the fun is the fact that no established prankster-heavy online entity wants to take credit for whitewashing Hitler’s past/celebrating the unexpectedly feisty sexual activity of women in their “golden years.” Reddit says 4chan did it. 4chan claims Reddit is behind the Hitler/Granny/diabeetus debacle. It all very definitely looks like a 4chan effort, but the truth is probably closer to “a bit of both.” Does anyone seriously believe Reddit and 4chan share no common members? 

But after all is said and done, PepsiCo might have lost this particular battle, but overall it wins the war. Plenty of people spent more time thinking about MTN Dew (and Hitler… and… dear lord… Grandma) then they would have otherwise. A few months down the road, “Tempest” (probably) will appear in stores and be purchased by curious Dew fans, wondering internally if “Fapple” or “Grannies Spurt” better describes the flavor. Externally, everything else will be as it always was. And The Internet will sit by quietly, waiting for someone to call its name.

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Companies: pepsico

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Comments on “Famous Prankster 'The Internet' Hijacks Another Promotional Campaign”

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60 Comments
DCX2 says:

Re:

What does Kevin Smith have to do with this, other than being a red herring?

For that matter…what does Mike have to do with this? Is your distaste for the man so great that you just assume everything on this site is written by him? Kinda reminds me of people who call health reform “Obamacare”…but the Constitution doesn’t give Obama the power to write laws.

Fickelbra (profile) says:

:(

Sorry that we can’t have a sophisticated sense of humor like yourself, anonymous coward. Unfortunately if you had the ability to read between the lines, I would say the article is more about highlighting the ability of the internet to organize and take action, even if the goal isn’t always something noble. It is an event worthy of coverage, particularly since these types of results would take a considerable amount of action.

Do yourself a favor; get off your computer, and get to your porch. We wouldn’t want you to miss yelling at the neighborhood kids stepping on your lawn.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re:

OK, I’ll attempt to explain it even though it’s physically impossible to explain humor to the humorless.

Pepsi (are you following so far?) decided to give the Internet (I know, a big word, but just try to keep up) free reign over the naming of something that no one really cares about. It wasn’t multiple choice, you could write in your own name. What the hell did they think was going to happen? This would be hilarious if the winning name was “Bob” (actually that name alone would be hilarious as an inside joke).

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