The 2016 Super Bowl (50th) ended days ago and as per usual the half time commercials are what caught everyone’s attention. This year the talk of the town and trend on Twitter is the bizarre puppy monkey baby advertisement from beverage maker Mountain Dew.
The advertisement features a hybrid creature with a pug head, monkey torso, and the legs of a human baby saying the phrase puppy monkey baby over and over again while licking and dancing with three men who are lazing on the couch. Despite being the least favorite advertisement on the day of the 50th Super Bowl, the puppy monkey baby ad has received over 14 million views on YouTube since airing on Sunday.
Confused viewers took to Twitter immediately after the advertisement aired and the #puppymonkeybaby trend and hashtag were born.
Despite the initial negative reaction to the puppy monkey baby commercial, Mountain Dew is the main company name on everyone’s lips and keyboards after the Super Bowl, and no one can accuse the ad of not being memorable. Mountain Dew took to Twitter themselves yesterday to lap up the attention and jump on board the #puppymonkeybaby trending hashtag.
The idea behind that Frankenstein-esque puppy monkey baby is creating a hybrid of three great things that are better combined. Just like the Mountain Dew Drink “Kickstart” which combines the classic Mountain Dew drink with juice and caffeine. Despite the commercial being designed to make people want to buy and drink Mountain Dew, the puppy monkey baby ad seems to have done the opposite.
My uncle said he's not buying Mountain Dew, because of #puppymonkeybaby— Mabel (@DavidsTony) February 8, 2016
Mountain Dew had built some suspense to the Super Bowl commercial and released a series of three puppy monkey baby “teasers” before the ad was aired on Sunday. The previews have also received millions of hits on YouTube.
Despite the confused reaction and the nightmares that are sure to ensue after the puppy monkey baby ad, Mountain Dew was able to capture the attention of the internet within 32 seconds among a plethora of advertisements and so has done its job. Mountain Dew is not the first company to “break the internet” with a controversial ad, and as previous examples have shown, controversy is sometimes the best way to get more views.
Earlier this year, Kendall Jenner and clothing giant Mango came under fire with Mango’s Tribal Spirit Campaign for allegedly being culturally insensitive. In 2014 American Apparel was in hot water again for their ad featuring a topless women with the words “Made in Bangladesh” across her chest, and in 2015, Carl’s Jr Super Bowl ad, featuring a nearly naked Charlotte McKinney, got just as much attention as the puppy monkey baby ad did. Despite the backlash for these ads, there is no denying they made waves.
Carl’s Jr. 2015 Super Bowl ad earned 4 billion media impressions after the Super Bowl commercial was aired and received thousands of complaints. But CEO Andrew Puzder knows that causing a stir, good or bad, can be beneficial. “Those complaints aren’t necessarily bad for us. What you look at is, you look at sales. And, our sales go up,” he said.
Although the licking, dancing, and plain scary puppy monkey baby commercial is confusing and weird, it is not offensive in any way, just plain haunting. But when you look at Mountain Dew’s previous advertisements, it is not all that surprising. Mountain Dew is renowned for their high energy and unusual commercials, but none have stood out as much as puppy monkey baby did or have received such attention from the media, viewers, and celebrities as quickly.
Before the puppy monkey baby advertisement, Mountain Dew had not made a Super Bowl ad for 15 years according to Business Insider, and after the negative reaction to puppy monkey baby, surely they will not be making one for another 15 years.