With the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad estimated at $5.6 million, it’s obvious why companies continually rely on A-list celebrities to draw interest to their products. And with the sporting event mere days away, we’ve already seen Hyundai enlist Captain America to pitch its latest car. And now, Mountain Dew has entered the fray, with a new ad that not only brings Bryan Cranston into the Super Bowl fold but also lampoons one of the best films of all time— “The Shining.”
The purpose of the new Mountain Dew Zero Sugar ad is to somehow show that the new version of Dew can be just as good as the original. How do you do that best? Well, apparently you enlist one of the greatest actors working today to re-enact the most famous scene in one of the best films of all time. But you undercut all that with the inclusion of a neon green soda.
Joining Cranston in Mountain Dew’s version of “The Shining” is Tracee Ellis Ross, who is probably best known as one of the leads in ABC’s popular sitcom “Black-ish.” In the spot, she plays the role made iconic by Shelley Duvall, while Cranston takes on the Jack Nicholson role.
Maybe I’m being a bit of a curmudgeon (wouldn’t be the first time), but normally when these companies hire big names to pitch their products, especially when they also bring in other cultural touchstones such as iconic films, they aim to be funny. But honestly, the joke at the end of the ad is pretty lame. And overall, the ad feels…lazy?
While trying to show that a new thing can be just as good as the original, the company has given us a taste of something very bad and not nearly as well done as the original. And worst of all, it’s just not funny. But hey, not all the Super Bowl ads can be winners, huh?