The Super Bowl ad-watchers have declared 2011 an unremarkable year for commercials (save that very cute Darth Vader ad ), but among the mediocre one ad stood out as particularly loathsome: The Pepsi Max commercial called ” First Date .” It voices the inner monologues of a man and a woman at their initial dinner together. The woman is asking herself questions like “I wonder how much money he makes?” and “I wonder if he’s the one?” While the guy is just repeating to himself over and over “I wanna sleep with her I wanna sleep with her*”…until a Pepsi Max is put in front of his mug. Then his inside voice starts chanting: “I wanna Pepsi Max I wanna Pepsi Max.” Women: marriage-obsessed gold diggers. Men: sex-frenzied morons. Ain’t that the truth!
One can’t even completely blame PepsiCo. for this ad’s tired take-it was a user-generated ad made as part of Pepsi’s Crash the Super Bowl contest . While Pepsi didn’t create the ad, they did choose it as a finalist. Both Pepsi Max and Coke Zero are explicitly marketed to Gen Y men ; weight conscious guys who are way too manly to drink those sissy colas called “diet.” I guess the company felt like they had to overcompensate in the “manly” department to make a splash, or as TBD’s Amanda Hess put it last night , “pepsi max strategy: straight dudes are so dumb they may drink this.” It almost makes one long for the sad beer men of last year’s Super Bowl ads .
* Correction, Feb. 7, 2010 : The original version of this post had the man’s inner voice saying “I wannna have sex with her.”