from the you-really-can't-specify-which-'crowd'-you-want-to-'source' dept
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').
— Mountain DewÃ‚Â® (@mtn_dew) August 14, 2012
@antderosa Dub the Dew definitely lost to The Internet. It was a local customer program, not a Dew one, & we're helping them clean up
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.