Mountain Dew pulls weird racist, misogynist ad (video)

This Mountain Dew ad is bizarre on so many levels. Many find the commercial both racist and misogynist.

The ad involves a seriously injured woman trying to identify her attacker in a police line-up, and one of the possible perps in the line-up is a goat. It goes downhill from there.

First, here are all the evil black guys, and the goat – yeah, they’re all black.

racist-Mountain-Dew-ad

Then there’s the woman who was physically abused by the goat.

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Pepsi keeps yanking the ad, here’s another copy.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Ninong

    They would be wasting their money if they were trying to please me. I doubt I will ever be one of their customers. However, I did see something online, or somewhere, with the creator of the ad. I didn’t know he was black. I guess I just assumed he was non-black. Maybe this falls into the category of it’s okay for a young black guy to use the n-word but not okay for a white guy, especially an older white guy, to use it?

    I meant that last question from my perspective. I’m no longer seeing racism in the selection of perps and just seeing a young black guy’s impression of what society thinks of when they think of perps. Does that make sense? In other words, I believe him when he says the whole thing was a joke. The trouble is that in order for some people (i.e., me) to see it as a joke we have to know something about the creator.
    In any case, it was probably a shade too “creative” for general distribution.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Help yourself.

  • totem romulus

    Tyler the Creator has a significant following right now, and millions of
    young americans listen to his music, follow him on twitter and watch
    his music videos and tv show, the fact that he made a mountain dew
    commercial is gonna make a good chunk of his fans say “maybe i should
    get a mountain dew”

  • totem romulus

    Mountain Dew actually does know their customers. Tyler the Creator has a significant following right now, and millions of young adults / teenagers listen to his music, follow him on twitter and watch his music videos and tv show, the fact that he made a mountain dew commercial is gonna make a good chunk of his fans say “maybe i should get a mountain dew” Stop talking out of your butt, you sound way too clueless right now.

  • totem romulus

    make something better then. Oh wait, you can’t you’ll never get the chance to do anything like this.

  • totem romulus

    okay see that was 10x more racist than the ad. You’re the problem here, not a black kid putting his black friends in a commercial, disgusting people like you implying they should be toting guns because they’re black.

  • totem romulus

    90% Of tyler’s friends are black, do five minutes research, in fact all of the dudes in the line up are close friends of his. He’s not racist, he just likes making people uncomfortable with the topic of race.

  • totem romulus

    HOW IS IT RACIST? IS BET RACIST BECAUSE EVERYBODY IS BLACK ON IT? NO. QUIT BEING IGNORANT I BET YOU AREN’T EVEN BLACK

  • totem romulus

    Why should somebody censor themselves for close minded sensitive people that get offended at any little thing? Grow up.

  • totem romulus

    How do you not realize that three commercials made by the same person with the same goat, are related? That’s embarassing. “I didn’t know the harry potter books were related”

  • totem romulus

    You’re so terribly ignorant. If you knew even 1 thing about tyler then you would know he doesn’t market “gangsta” he makes fun of it. He’s not trying to be edgy, he’s just being himself.

  • totem romulus

    He’s not an advertiser, he’s a kid doing what he wants no matter what anybody thinks. You’re mad because you’ll never get the chance to make an ad for mountain dew in your lifetime.

  • totem romulus

    Your profile picture is a terrible idea, and doesn’t actually do anything for equality. How about you go to some rallies and pride parades to actually make a difference, instead of sitting on the internet bashing ads that don’t appeal to you.

  • totem romulus

    they think that Tyler the creator has a massive amount of fans that
    aren’t in their regular target audience and that’s why they did it, why
    would you find one audience and only make commercials for them, that’s
    bad for business. Think a little, not everything is just to please you.

  • totem romulus

    No they think that Tyler the creator has a massive amount of fans that aren’t in their regular target audience and that’s why they did it, why would you find one audience and only make commercials for them, that’s bad for business. Think a little, not everything is just to please you.

  • totem romulus

    Yeah that was the goal, that’s what advertisements and commercials are for, good job using fourth grade logic…

  • Totem Romulus

    This is the third mt dew commercial featuring felicia the goat.
    It’s laughable how all of you are so uncomfortable with the topic of race relations, that because all of the men in the line-up are black you automatically jump to racism, and then you make it about sexism because the victim was a female.
    Pepsi had Tyler the Creator make some ads because they recognized that right now Tyler has a very large audience, he has directed 10 or so music videos, has his own tv show on adult swim, and his music collective odd future is riding a wave of significant buzz. You may be completely unaware of this, because his buzz comes from a different audience than most commercials target, which is exactly why pepsi had him make a few short commercials with full creative freedom. There is no classically trained marketer / advertiser at work here, tyler made a few commercials he thought were zany enough that he liked them and didn’t even expect pepsi to run them, but he still made them because that’s what his vision was. He’s not trying to make you buy mountain dew, he’s just doing weird stuff with a goat puppet. The dudes in the line up are 3 of tyler’s close friends and he just wanted to have them in his commercial. Watch the first two commercials, the first one has felicia at a dinner table with a black man, and in the second the only characters are felicia and a black man. if he was white and had mainly white friends they’d be white dudes. You guys are ridiculous for being so sensitive that just the fact that 3 guys in a line up are black and it’s automatically racist. Must be guilt from the fact that minus the goat, this kind of stuff happens all the time in our society, we jail way more african americans than white dudes every day, THAT’S RACISM

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    We might agree that every tasteless satire is a joke.

  • pappyvet

    With the theme song from Deliverance ringing in their ears

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Standup makes me tired.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “I was wondering what the hillbilly pictured on the bottle was shooting at,” Probably at his own image reflected in a Moonshine bottle.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    They’re trying to get our goat Ninong.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “among some of the population.” Yep, The Hills Have Eyes folks likes em some of that there Dew.

  • hit-escape

    I’m sure the elevator pitch was much better.

  • Allen

    Obviously you are a little too young or a little too brainwashed by modern motifs to comment on this subject. The theme described has nothing to do with slavery. Mountain dew was an euphemism for moonshine, alcohol distilled in the mountains and of course made illegal by the federal government that wanted all alcohol regulated and taxed. Hence the government agent “Revenoor’s” sent into the mountains to destroy the stills and their ongoing battles with the moonshiners.

  • FLL

    I watched the video again, and I still think the original Mountain Dew bottle label from the 1940s is more offensive. A hillbilly with a shotgun is trying to murder a U.S. federal agent (a revenuer) who’s fleeing an outhouse (pictured below). The hillbilly is engaging the mostly Southern audience and saying, “Hey, everybody, let’s all murder U.S. federal agents. Serve them right for telling us how to treat our slaves.” This was the Mountain Dew bottle label for decades. So if you think the elected government is too progressive for your taste, just kill U.S. government agents. With a tradition like that, it’s little wonder that Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City and the Olympic Park in Atlanta.

  • pappyvet

    Their sales will go up among some of the population…

  • mpeasee

    …I laughed…

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Lol it’s ok :-)

  • hefetone

    I am outraged…outraged I tell you…give me some money.

  • Ninong

    Apparently Pepsi thinks their target audience for Mountain Dew will see that ad and want to run out and buy some Mountain Dew. I guess I’m not one of their targets because I just don’t get it.

  • Jim Olson

    I think you had to see the first ad in the series, which, was also completely unintelligible.

  • Paul

    I mean, maybe he hates other black people, I couldn’t know for sure, really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Jefferson/1516807372 Eric Jefferson

    So, he couldn’t be mistaken about this?

  • Paul

    Look up “Tyler the Creator” and “Mountain Dew Ad” There is an MTV interview with him about it. He basically said he was just being foolish and didn’t think Pepsi would ever go for it.

  • Paul

    You can tell Tyler the Creator (he made the ad) that he is a racist then. I wonder how he would take that being that he is black and all.

    Sexist… meh. Maybe. Not so much if you watch the first video, though. They could have just as easily done the part with a man and it still would have made sense.

  • Paul

    Such a comedian.

  • J.P. Melle

    I’d honestly like to know what they thought they were trying to accomplish when they put this together. Nothing is made accidentally anymore in big marketing campaigns; every way they represent themselves must somehow fit into the brand. So what was the reasoning that went into this? I honestly don’t get it at all (That’s aside from the very blatant racism/sexism of course, so if that was the goal, then I get it).

  • J.P. Melle

    I’m clucking and flapping about because its pretty damn racist, and slightly less sexist.

  • Turdnugget

    Lol Loiter Squad

  • J.P. Melle

    What are they satirizing, exactly?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I was being satirical.

  • Rob

    well, they couldnt have a white guy in the line up :/ cuz otherwise none of them would look alike.

  • Paul

    Fair enough, sorry for implying that you were disingenuous. I retract that statement. :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Pepsi keeps having YouTube yank the ad – just updated the link

  • why vid now ork???????????

    vid not work?????????????

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I actually didnt realize they were related, it’s not the like the video tells you that.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    See that’s the thing, i didn’t totally get it either.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    My reaction: Flabbergasted that no one along the way to this being produced stopped to think that it was a really horrible idea.

  • Paul

    Okay, lets say its not satire. Obviously up for debate depending on how you saw it. The Producer said it was just some stupid idea. Okay.

    Either way, why is everyone so up in arms about this? I find you all quite ridiculous, and actually humorous. Its like a wolf just stepped into a hen house the way you all are flapping about and clucking.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fierylocks FieryLocks

    Whomever came up with this commercial should seriously get kicked out of advertising.
    What ever that was…it SUCKED!

  • Naja pallida

    Because, as we all know, EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Bromine, and Yellow #5 is all made more ‘natural’ by having cane sugar instead of HFCS. :)

  • Chotpy

    …….WTF? That is all. No.

  • FLL

    I’m told that they introduced the version with cane sugar to answer the demand for more natural ingredients.

  • Naja pallida

    I don’t get it.

  • Naja pallida

    They actually brought back the hillbilly “mascot” for Mountain Dew Throwback, the cane sugar sans HFCS version.

  • Paul

    You do realize that the producers of this ad are black, do you not? Tyler the Creator is his name.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    Satire! Aristophanes, Juvenal, Swift, Twain, Vonnegut…Mountain Dew?!

    Hint: not every tasteless joke is satire.

  • FLL

    Yes, we need a “Guns ‘n God” theme here to do this ad justice. A semi-automatic would be a nice addition. Perhaps even a Confederate flag. And where’s the Pentecostalist minister handling snakes and speaking in tongues? There are just so many directions we could go in to flesh out this ad. But then part of me is asking if that would be gilding the lily. Perhaps the ad has a simple, repulsive perfection just the way it is.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Add some black on black face, a Swanee River and call it classical showtime satire.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Same here.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    We have come to a time, when I can’t even say, “Unbelievable.” What’s beyond outrage? This one is even worse that the abused cakes commercial that mocks the SPCA ad.

  • FLL

    To add to Jeffrey Karter’s line of questioning, would the first video provide intellectual or theoretical context for this current ad so that the viewer could judge it more fairly? Laughing. Out. Loud.

  • nicho

    Just a joke — the typical racist, homophobe, misogynist defense.

  • usagi

    Really? What’s it satirizing?

    And posting just this ad isn’t disingenuous. If the ad doesn’t work without the context of the other ads in the series then the ad doesn’t work. Someone being paid way more money than I’ll ever see should have pointed that out before the final sign off for release.

  • FLL

    Mountain Dew was developed, circa 1940, in Knoxville, Tennessee, with the slogan “Ya-Hoo! Mountain Dew. It’ll tickle yore innards.” You are free to inspect, gentle reader, the “hillbilly” design of the original bottle that is pictured below. As to the ingredients, it is composed largely of that most deadly of additives, high-fructose corn syrup. It is a fitting accompaniment to a main course of Chick-fil-A, which is, of course, chicken that is rolled in sugar, white flour and butter, and then deep-fried in the unhealthiest, most saturated-in-fat oil available. And this is all marketed to an audience who thinks that all criminals are black and women are hysterically incompetent.

    Please, please, Southern Republican-voting traditionalists, I beg of you. Stuff your face with Chick-fil-A and wash it all down with lots of Mountain Dew. Type 2 diabetes is too kind of a fate for you, but whatever you prematurely die of, at least it will ensure that you will also prematurely stop voting. Hopefully, you’ll leave a wiser, younger generation after you who won’t vote for fundamentalist Christian morons. Oh, darn! There goes that harsh edge in my writing again. And I was trying so hard to adopt a more gentle, diplomatic style of writing. I’ll keep trying. I promise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKarter Jeffrey Karter

    Totally disagree. If the ad can’t stand on its own, it fails.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKarter Jeffrey Karter

    Like most companies, they *think* they know their customers.

    In this case, it looks like they think their customers are older white male a**hats in positions of power. Yet another reason I should swear off the stuff.

  • glasper9

    Scripted by Tyler the creator. This is supposed to be “edgy” and “gangsta.”

  • samizdat

    Holy. Freaking. Cow.

    I just wish I had more time to go through all of the different levels of wrong in this commercial. Jeebus H. I am aware that MarketingPRopaganda in most of its forms is manipulative at best, and often supremely deceptive, but I have never seen anything in my forty-nine years so vile and cruel, not to mention racist.

  • Paul

    Its called satire… Come on people…

    Also, not posting the first video in this series of ads is disingenuous at best.

  • keirmeister

    What. The. F*&K. Was. That?!?

  • kingstonbears

    The only thing missing was the semi automatic.

  • FuzzyRabbit

    We have to assume that Mountain Dew knows their customers, right?

  • usagi

    WTF? In what world does that help them sell beverages?

  • condew

    Wow.

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