Has Bryan Cranston’s TV Spot Turned Mountain Dew Into Mountain Don’t?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There are tons of A-list celebrities touting products in television commercials these days, as Boston Globe critic Don Aucoin noted yesterday.

Among those singled out by Aucoin is Bryan Cranston.

Bryan Cranston is indisputably one of the greatest dramatic actors of our time. But if Cranston was going to do a Mountain Dew commercial spoofing Jack Nicholson’s ax-wielding “Heeeere’s Johnny!’’ scene from “The Shining,” couldn’t he have at least insisted the writers come up with a better punchline than “Heeere’s Mountain Dew Zero!’’

What do you think, Doc? Bryan Cranston – drama hero to Mountain Dew zero?

– Mountain Doh!

Dear Doh!,

Let’s start by looking at the TV spot in question.



No doubt the whole thing is an example of Buckraking Bad. But has it been good for Mountain Dew sales? Not so much, according to Statista’s M. Ridder.

Market share of the Mountain Dew brand in the U.S. 2004-2020

In 2020, the market share of the Mountain Dew brand in the U.S. amounted to just under seven percent. Over the past decade and a half, the brand’s share has remained between six and seven percent.

So Heeeere’s Bryan! has not exactly broken down the doors at retail.

Glad you axed, though.

Why Is OkCupid Ad Saying OkAbortions?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Adweek when I came across this report by Sara Century on the latest wrinkle in online dating.

OkCupid Relaunches ‘Every Single Person’ Campaign to Champion Reproductive Rights

One less-discussed element of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is the effect it has had on daters, with the conflicting concepts of social distancing and meeting new people causing trepidation for many. Likewise, a desire to discuss politics has shot up in recent years, creating further obstacles for casual dating.

With these barriers in mind, OkCupid is relaunching its “Every Single Person” campaign, which originally kicked off last fall. The brand is doubling down on its mission of inclusivity by adding a new pro-choice line across the NYC subway.

This campaign, which features 17 images, is the result of OkCupid’s 12-month effort to understand gender and identity in order to utilize technology that will appeal to as wide a variety of communities as possible. Brainstormed by OkCupid’s CMO Melissa Hobley and Devin Colleran, it features art by Maurizio Cattelan and photography by Pierpaolo Ferrari.

The dating service has even joined with Planned Parenthood “to create a badge that would assist users in matching with others that supported reproductive rights.”

Most companies wouldn’t associate themselves with the abortion issue at gunpoint. What gives, Doc.

– Are They OkStupid?

Dear ATO,

This one’s a corker, as my former associate Nurse Ads might say. (Nurse Ads is “former” because she’s off actually attending medical school.)

For starters, here are some of the groups that preceded the pro-choicers in the OkCupid campaign.

Fun fact to know and tell: According to Phoebe Bain’s report in Marketing Brew, three of those four ads were just rejected by officials at the Metropolitan Transit Authority, a.k.a. the New York subway system. You can probably guess which ones.

OkCupid’s pro-pro-choice ad comes in the wake of this viral video, which depicts a woman tearing down OkCupid ads on a New York subway train and has been viewed over 1.1 million times on YouTube during the past four months.

Devin Colleran, senior brand manager of OkCupid, told Adweek that “the homophobic rant in response to our campaign only empowered us to double down on our commitment to celebrate all kinds of identities and love both in our app and our marketing.”

As for abortion being the third rail for marketers, MediaPost’s Sarah Mahoney reports that “it’s all part of the brand’s ongoing mission to have users bring their entire selves to the dating process.”

“We want you to bring your issues — pun intended — to dating,” says Melissa Hobley, chief marketing officer. “That can include unapologetically supporting abortion. We want to make it ‘hot’ for people to commit to those issues to our dating app. If you’re pro-choice — and the majority of the country is — and can’t imagine dating someone who isn’t, then that’s a real and relevant issue.”

Real, relevant, and . . . risky.

Then again, that’s OkCupid’s choice

Why Is Mars Incorporated Slut-Shaming the Green M&M?

(Aditor’s note: Thanks to both readers of this site for joining in the triumphant return of the good doctor yesterday. We won’t forget your kindness.)

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag once again and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, just minding my own business and scrolling through Twitter when I came across this.

The Hill’s Judy Kurtz reported that “candy is about to get more ‘inclusive,’ with the maker of M&M’s announcing its famed characters are getting modern makeovers and will have more ‘nuanced personalities.’”

For example:

The green M&M, previously seen in ads posing seductively and strutting her stuff in white go-go boots, will now sport a pair of sneakers. A description for the green candy on the M&M’s website says she enjoys “being a hypewoman for my friends.”

A hypewoman? What the hell even is that? Help me out here, Doc.

– Candy Crushed

Dear Crushed,

In the past, the Doc’s efforts to tackle delicate subjects like this one have tended to go over like the metric system. So let’s leave it to the Double Xers.

Danielle Cohen at The Cut.

Let the M&M’s Be Hot and Mean

Have you ever gazed at a piece of chocolate and asked yourself, What if this candy were … progressive? Can’t say I have, but lucky for me, somebody thought to do just that. Mars has rolled out new versions of famed M&M’s characters to reflect what the company sees as a “more dynamic, progressive world” and what I see as a very rude corporate rebrand nobody asked for.

Claire Carusillo at Gawker (headline: They Made the Green M&M a Dumpy Slut).

[Yesterday], the Mars Wrigley company rolled out a sterile, bone-dry rebrand of those sentient, sexy, candy-shelled roly-polys we like to call M&Ms. Notably, the hot green one is no longer wearing go-go boots, and the brown one has a lower heel. Anton Vincent, the president of Mars Wrigley North America told CNN that tamping down the sexuality of our most beloved screen sirens by giving them more sensible footwear is “a subtle cue, but it’s a cue nonetheless” that M&Ms are feminism, that they are geopolitics, that they are egalitarianism, and that they are corporate ladder climbing.

EJ Dickson at Rolling Stone (headline: Let the Green M&M Be a Nasty Little Slut).

The recent push to rebrand corporate logos to be more inclusive has, for the most part, been a good thing. Making Barbie more body-positive? Great. Renaming Aunt Jemima syrup? About damn time. Yet in brands’ fervent quest to capture youth audiences and capture the woke zeitgeist, they may be going just a little bit too far. Case in point: the slut-shaming of the green M&M.

‘Nuf said.

Is Oscar Mayer’s Bologna Beauty Mask Just . . . Baloney?

(Aditor’s note: Sharp-eyed readers of this site – both of them – will have noticed that the good doctor has been AWOL for the past couple of years. He says he’s been off working on the snack menu for The Obama Presidential Center. We have our doubts, but live and let learn, that’s our slogan.)

Well, the Doc opened up the old mailbag when he finally got back to the Global Worldwide Dispensary and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

So there I was minding my own business and reading People magazine when I came across this story.

For anyone who ever made a face out of a slice of bologna by biting holes for their eyes and mouth, boy does Oscar Mayer have something for you.

The iconic brand is stretching itself beyond the meat and cold cut business, and stepping into the beauty world by dropping the first-ever bologna-inspired face mask.

Though not actually made of bologna, the masks — made in partnership with premier Korean beauty and skincare company Seoul Mamas — are designed to resemble slices of the deli meat, mimicking its instantly recognizable color.

They include hydrating and restoring hydrogel that promote skin elasticity, improves hydration and moisture retention, offers anti-inflammatory benefits, and provides protection for the skin.

Wait, what? Phoney baloney is supposed to sell real bologna?

Help me out here, Doc.

– Meatless in Seattle

Dear Meatless,

Long way from cold cuts to cold cream, yeah? Regardless, the masks are producing beautiful results for the Bologna Barons.

According to this piece by Kelly Tyko for USA Today, “the Oscar Mayer bologna masks are sold out for now on Amazon but could be restocked. ‘Due to unexpected incredibly high demand, we are working to get the sheet masks back in stock over the coming days,’ Kraft Heinz said in a statement to USA TODAY. The masks were also listed as Amazon’s ‘#1 new release’ in beauty and personal care Wednesday.”

Here’s the meatpacker’s promotional video.

The Doc especially likes the warning at :07: “DO NOT EAT. OSCAR MAYER Bologna Face Masks Do Not Contain Real Bologna.”