Mountain Dew sells racism and violence against women

[Content warning for racism, battery, and basically everything that’s wrong with the world]

PepsiCo has pulled a Mountain Dew commercial that social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins calls “arguably the most racist commercial in history.” Featuring members of hip hop group Odd Future and directed by leader Tyler, The Creator, the ad is the third installment in a series that previously featured a goat named Felicia assaulting a waitress and then getting arrested for driving while high on Mountain Dew.

Under no circumstances will I embed the ad, but here are the high points: five black men (LBoy, Little Musty, Lamoahn, Tiny, and Beyonte) in a police lineup with the goat; the severely battered waitress sobbing and shrieking in fear at the prospect of identifying her assailant; and lines delivered by the goat like “I’m nasty” and “you better not snitch on a playa” and “snitches get stitches, fool” and “I’m gonna get outta here and I’m gonna do you up.” To sell soda.

81 comments for “Mountain Dew sells racism and violence against women

  1. matlun
    May 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    An extremely offensive and very weird ad. Apparently it was the creation of “Tyler, the Creator” who is a US hip hop artist (who I had never heard about).

    I guess the Mountain Dew reps overlooked the racism under the assumption that “black men can’t be racist”, but the problems with misogynistic violence should have been impossible to miss.

  2. EG
    May 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Well, I’m glad to get my morning reminder that people are appalling.

  3. karak
    May 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Oh my God someone in class just used Tyler the Creator as an example of the new epistolary of social media.

    I know who we’re talking about! Kinda!

  4. Lauren
    May 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Odd Future is an enormously influential hip hop group. A Feministe guest blogger did an excellent piece on OF here:

    • transleft
      May 2, 2013 at 4:33 am

      So what if they are influential?

      • Lauren
        May 2, 2013 at 8:53 am

        The first three comments on this thread are talking about how they’ve never heard of this guy before. They might familiarize themselves.

        What’s your point in coming at me defensively?

      • PrettyAmiable
        May 2, 2013 at 9:04 am

        It kind of read like it was okay, as long as they’re influential. I think it was just a miscommunication.

      • transleft
        May 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm

        The first three comments on this thread are talking about how they’ve never heard of this guy before. They might familiarize themselves.

        What’s your point in coming at me defensively?

        It kind of read like it was okay, as long as they’re influential. I think it was just a miscommunication.

        Yeah this.Sorry for the miscommunication :)

    • Mztress
      May 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      That fist full of assholes is INFLUENTIAL?! I’ve lost my faith in humanity for good, now.

  5. gratuitous_violet
    May 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Every time I hear someone refer to these misogynist fuckers as “the future of hip-hop” I want to hide under some blankets with my Tribe Called Quest CD’s and cry.

    however, I was always much more grossed out by the white guys I knew in college who would painstakingly try to explain why lyrics like “but rape is fun” doesn’t actually mean that they think rape is, like, fun! Jeez, can’t you take a joke?

    • Bill withers
      May 2, 2013 at 5:48 am

      What rap song says rape is fun?

      • May 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        Another one of Odd Future’s, apparently. See Lauren’s post above.

  6. pheenobarbidoll
    May 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I could maybe see the ad as acknowledging racism in that the suspect is a goat and the cops pull a bunch of Black men in for the line up (Black men are criminals, seen as animals so racist cops grab Black men for the line up because they “match the description”)*, but there’s no other way to interpret the goats remarks. His threatening women is viewed as funny, because violence against women is funny.

    * the problem with this is without any context, the viewer has no way of knowing this and it simply appears as racism, and is experienced as racism so even at this point, the intent of the creator (if indeed that was his intent) doesn’t matter. Had there been some sort of lead up like having the viewer understand the cops were being racist by placing Black men in a line up with a goat, then it would chance the commercial. But the misogyny would still be there.

    • trees
      May 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      I could maybe see the ad as acknowledging racism in that the suspect is a goat and the cops pull a bunch of Black men in for the line up (Black men are criminals, seen as animals so racist cops grab Black men for the line up because they “match the description”)*, but there’s no other way to interpret the goats remarks. His threatening women is viewed as funny, because violence against women is funny.

      Yeah I can see that, it’s just really poorly done. The goat’s talk of how he is going to “dew her” and her funny haha terror was really unsettling.

    • May 2, 2013 at 10:24 am

      I agree about the possible acknowledgment of racism: White policeman tries to get one of the African American people convicted because they look “thuggish” to him (cf. especially the comment about the “doo-rag”). Like, even if you describe a goat as being the culprit, they will still present you with a goat and four black guys in a lineup.

      Then again, the slang used by the goat would undercut this kind of reading, as does the “gangsta” face that left brain makes, for example.

      • catfood
        May 2, 2013 at 11:37 am

        Sure. It’s definitely possible to expose racism, or mock racism, or satirize racism with material that could look pretty racist at first glance.

        It’s just that this isn’t it. (Or it failed really badly, but I can’t imagine how.)

    • pheenobarbidoll
      May 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Yes, and as I said, even if this was what the guy was trying to do, it failed so badly that it’s been experienced as racism and you can’t undo that after the fact.

  7. May 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    This surely has to be the low point of Tyler’s series of abhorrent efforts to be “relevant” and “provocative”. Ugh.

  8. Emma
    May 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Jeez… What the hell does this have to do with Mountain Dew? What a disgusting ad.

  9. May 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I…what did I just see? I don’t…

    And, I mean, I went into it knowing there was racism, and behold, there was racism. It wasn’t subtle or anything. But what’s really baffling me is what in the hell this has to do with Mountain Dew. Like no really. What the hell does this have to do with Mountain Dew?!?!

    I think what this thread really needs is a gif of Jon Stewart saying “someone cast a spell on a Youtube comment and it CAME TO LIIIIIIFE!”. I think that would be good, and it would also comprehensively cover this baffletastic bullshit.

    • BabyRaptor
      May 2, 2013 at 2:44 am

      Apparently Mountain Dew turns men into rapists. Or goats.

      I think? I really don’t know.

    • May 2, 2013 at 9:29 am

      You expect an ad to somehow be relevant to the product its selling? Did you just come from 1988 in a time machine?

      • A4
        May 2, 2013 at 10:21 am

        More like 1888

  10. Tim
    May 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Besides the misogyny and racism, which are every bit as bad as Dr. Watkins says, the wonder of this ad is, who are they even marketing to with it? Most MD ads of the past seemed to be aimed at young, white men (and maybe to a lesser extent young, white women) with certain interests — skater dudes and dudettes, snowboarders, extreme sporters — with a certain “rebel” lifestyle. So they are either thinking that their core demographic really is this racist (nice!) and trying to appeal to it that way (even nicer!) or they are just clueless.

    I would be tempted to think the latter. It comes off as some middle-aged executives’ attempt to be “edgy” and appeal to the younguns. “Let’s get this Tyler Something guy I heard of,” I can hear some guy saying, “he’s the latest thing and my kid loves him!” I think Mr. Creator, who sounds disgusting, took them for a ride.

  11. Tim
    May 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Unfortunately, we can’t edit these, and I regretted use of the word “dudettes” immediately after hitting post. Apologies and I really should drop any usage of that word.

    • Kasabian
      May 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Not to derail, but I’m darkly curious as to whether “dudette” is horrible just because it’s a maligning of the english language, or for some darker, horrible reason I haven’t come across yet…

      • Tim
        May 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm

        [also for klaymore below] Well, I thought maybe it is kind of sexist? I have used it casually before in a similar context and seen it here and there and never thought much about it, but it suddenly kinda hit me, maybe because I was posting on a feminist site. So maybe it isn’t sexist? I dunno, adding a suffix like “ette” or “ess” to denote the female version of something is tricky that way. I suppose sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. But yes, I don’t want to derail. Maybe this needs and overflow or a post or maybe it’s been covered before.

    • klaym0re
      May 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      I regretted use of the word “dudettes” immediately after hitting post


    • May 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      Hey, at least you didn’t just use “dudes” and claim it was a gender-neutral catch-all term.

    • IrishUp
      May 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      I have occasionally self-identified as snowboarding dudette – mostly among my surfing/riding friends. I would not identify as a dudette among my work peers, e.g. I think context matters.

      In context, I read your “dudette” as referring to lady-identified people of a particular sub-culture, as imagined by the (ass-clowns) members of MD’s ad team. Obviously the usual disclaimers about YMMV, I am not speaking for the feminist Hive Mind & so forth.

      I appreciate your thoughtfulness, regardless.

      • Kasabian
        May 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm

        I think this raises an interesting point on how we can identify groups in the manner they wish to be identified. I mean, it’s easy enough on an individual level to identify someone how they want to be identified, but when you are referring to a group of people and there isn’t a clear consensus on the proper terminology…. my girlfriend still argue about “black” vs. “african american” for example.

        Apologies for the derailing.

  12. May 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    There is no excuse for this sort of offensive rubbish and it degrades the product that it is trying to promote.

  13. Tempy13
    May 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I have looked at this ad most of the day and I still do not see how it sells Mountain Dew or any soda… I know commercials are sometimes not quite clear-like how watch and perfume ads always start out with weird scenes of opulent luxury and then turn into a commercial for what is actually being sold, but I just cannot understand this. This can’t be trying to sell a lifestyle? (Like the watch and perfume ads)

    Who would be the market audience for this ad?

    I really like pheeno’s comment about the lack of context assuring this ad is racist from any point you try to look at it. Given a context, it could be a powerful message that speaks to the racism inherent in the criminal justic system. But…soda?

    I’m so glad that I read the words (in print) of what the goat is saying. Hearing them may have proved even more disgustingly misogynist than it already was.

    I guess maybe this is why I didn’t go into advertising. But I cannot imagine all the levels of review and approval a commercial has to go through and that this ad came through that process without anyone thinking it was a bad idea! Seriously?

    • Kasabian
      May 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      It seems to be part of a kind of tone-deaf push on Mountain Dew’s part to solidify themselves as the ‘drink of choice’ in dudebro culture. It’s trying to be the soda of misogynists and douchebags. Maybe they haven’t made it this obvious yet, but it’s been a while coming. See below for an example of the kind of frat-culture advertising they’ve tried before.

      • Tempy13
        May 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm

        Holy shit, that ad was horrible as well. “Alien genocide is thirsty work”? Using genocide in that context is so much like using the word rape to describe anything other than sexual assault. Christ, and make sure you throw in a good “bitch” randomly, just to make sure you’re getting the pure flavor of misogyny to pour down your throat.

        Well, thanks for shedding some light on the earlier ad, Kasbian. It’s good to know what sells to the dudebro frat consumers.

      • May 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm

        That doesn’t seem to be an ad but a comic? And it refers to the video game Halo, and the genocide in question is part of the (by now) fairly extensive plot/universe of the Halo games and books. That said, I’ve yet to engage with that universe, although the very good Tobias Buckell has written novels set in the Halo universe and I think Brian Evenson, as well?

      • Kasabian
        May 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm

        Right, yes. Let me clarify, that is a comic parodying Mountain Dew’s dude-bro infused “Gamerfuel” ad campaign, not an advertisement itself. Sorry for the confusion.

      • Willard
        May 2, 2013 at 1:44 am

        I’m curious to get some other people’s read on another bit of ad related humor. My mind went straight to this after watching the goat thing and passing through confusion, revulsion, and

        Grapist Pitch Meeting

        I always viewed it as a satire on the tin-ears ad execs must have to put forward spots like the one in the original post. That said reading youtube comments and stuff other places makes me think not everyone is relating with Zack (the straight man) in this sketch.

        Love the Penny Arcade link, it’s been ages since I stopped by there but I do remember that one.

      • Alara Rogers
        May 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm

        *trigger warning – references to child rape, rape culture in general*

        I actually loved that one, because it seemed to me to be satirizing rape culture. That it’s so blatantly obvious that the idea is they’re using the idea of raping children to sell grape soda, but every time Zack tries to point this out, they mock him and shut him down and act like he’s got something wrong with him for relating the ad to rape — which is exactly what rape culture tries to do to people. And they have a white male who has a position of some social strength — I thought he was the customer, not one of the ad guys, but either way he’s got a position of some power in a corporation — being the one who is mind-boggled that they’re doing this horrible thing and he’s the only one who seems to be able to see it, and they’re totally gaslighting him… so it isn’t preaching to the choir. By using a person that the biggest perpetrators and enablers of this kind of bullshit can sympathize with and identify with, I thought the sketch actually might have some real power to make people understand, and be able to recognize rape culture at work when it happens in real life. I mean, if you’ve seen that sketch, and then you see people complaining about the Belvedere vodka ad and other people saying “Who cares, it’s a funny ad, you’re reading too much into it, they’re just trying to sell a product, blah blah blah”, I would think you’d be more likely to recognize, this is the exact same thing that was happening in that comedy sketch about the Grapist, except I thought that was just a ridiculous joke and it turns out people actually behave that way!

        But… it disturbs the shit out of me that some people watch that sketch and do *not* identify with Zack. Maybe they’re just trying to be Internet-troll-edgy, because how could you watch that sketch and not recognize, the ad is using the concept of the rape of children to sell grape soda and the people who are pushing the ad are wilfully denying that fact?

        (For those who cannot click on the link or don’t feel like it… the “Grapist Pitch Sketch” features a group of ad guys trying to push an ad for grape soda with “The Grapist”, a man dressed as a grape who chases down screaming children and threatens to “grape them in the mouth.” One of the guys, I thought the customer they were selling the pitch to but it could have been one of the ad guys, is appalled by this, but all of the other guys in the room deny that the ad has anything at all to do with rape — even when one of the guys claims that one of the children is “asking for it, look how she’s dressed” because she’s wearing purple, even when the “Grapist” talks about chaining the kids to the radiator and makes really violent and blatant sexual threats that replace the word “rape” with “grape”. To me it seemed like they were setting up a situation that no one with a brain could mistake for *not* using rape to sell soda and then had the guys in the room keep denying it and mocking the one guy who objects to it, to satirize the way that no matter how blatantly ads or popular culture draw on rape tropes, people who are invested in those ads or those tropes will deny it and try to gaslight the people who can see the blatant rape references.)

      • Willard
        May 8, 2013 at 10:59 am

        @ Alara

        Trevor is the only ad guy in the sketch as I took it. Zack, Timmy and Darren are the marketing guys for Johnson and Hedges looking for a new face for “Fizzy Pops Grape Blast.” The comedic gold here is Sam’s entrance to the sleeping childrens’ room in the middle of the night. He bursts through the wall as a giant anthropomorphic bunch of grapes with his iconic roar in a blatant rip off of the Kool Aid man’s destructive signature move.

        Hadn’t actually seen the Belvedere ad but I just watched the Young Turks analysis. Holy shit that thing is atrocious. Plus they just grabbed the image from a video they didn’t own the rights to.

    • matlun
      May 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      About the context, it might be worth pointing out that this ad is part of a series. It is a sequel to another ad (possible TW, but it is better than the other one). Basically: The goat drinks Mountain Dew, and is also violent and beats up the waitress.

      • matlun
        May 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm

        Just to clarify: When I said above that the first ad is better, this does not mean good. It is just a relative measure…

      • Tim
        May 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm

        Although, even in that other one, and especially considering it in the context of the “sequel,” it seems pretty likely that it implies that the waitress is not just beat up, but raped by the goat.

      • Tempy13
        May 2, 2013 at 11:08 am

        Hi Matlun,

        Now the ad you linked has been removed as well.

        At least there is enough of a push-back from people (hopefully various people from different races, women AND men) that MD is removing these ads. Of course, someone in the advertising chain of command realizing how racist and misogynist they are to begin with would be a step up.

  14. hellkell
    May 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Who exactly does Mountain Dew think it’s customer IS?

    Jesus, this sucks. I’m so glad I switched majors in college. The douchbag CDs and ADs cranking these awful commercials would be around my age. Way to be, GenX.

    • May 2, 2013 at 10:27 am

      The same people that Sony thinks will mainly purchase the Playstation Vita?

      It feels like with all the rising visibility of female gamers, gaming/bro culture has become more entrenched and insistent on being as abhorrent as possible.

      • May 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm

        HAHA OH WOW. Man, I missed that one.

        No one acknowledges their privilege until it comes time to defend it. I wonder if part of it is just more and more visibility as women become a stronger consumer voice and more vocal about the kind of misogynistic stuff gaming has been throwing at them for the past 20 years.

  15. May 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    How did they expect this to sell anything?

    Celebrity endorsement? No, the celebrities in question aren’t seen anywhere near the product.

    Product placement? Maybe, but probably not.

    All I’ve got is “the director decided to troll the company and whoever approves the ads didn’t watch it”.

    (Does thinking about this instead of the racism and sexism make me a bad person?)

    • Jane
      May 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Actually I believe the men in the lineup are in the Odd Future crew.

      • May 1, 2013 at 6:15 pm

        Yeah, but none of them are holding the stuff. I think.

    • Kasabian
      May 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      I’m seeing a lot of “How could this happen?! Has Mountain Dew lost it’s mind?” comments, and I’d like to put forth my own theory.

      So apparently the commercial was made by a sketch comedy / rap group called “Odd Future.” I saw some ads for their tv show on Adult Swim, and most people seem to describe it as ‘the black Jackass”. Same production studio, at least.

      So, I think the generous explanation is that some ad exec asked them to make a new, edgy ad for Mountain Dew and then didn’t apply very much critical thinking to the final product. The line of thought probably went “Well, black guys made it, so it can’t be racist!”

      My own personal, less generous explanation is that this sort of shit is intentional. Mountain Dew is trying to be the drink of choice for douchebags, and they purposefully hired a group that was sure to produce something offensive. Maybe even they told “Odd Future” to be deliberately ‘edgy’.

      So I guess it all comes down to how much credit you want to give the Mountain Dew ad people.

      • catfood
        May 2, 2013 at 8:51 am

        Not that this makes it any less racist or sexist, but along those lines I wonder if the appeal is supposed to be in the offensiveness, not the racism per se.

        Dudebros seem to love offensiveness for its own sake.

      • Tim
        May 2, 2013 at 11:31 am

        Could be. There was that awful vodka ad a few months back (I don’t even want to look up the brand or link to it, but I think there was comment on this blog) that suggested it was a good way to get women drunk so they could be raped. It was suggested that releasing the ad and then rapidly pulling it was a deliberate strategy along the lines you just said. I kind of agree with Kasabian as opposed to what I suggested above, that it was deliberate. It’s hard to imagine that many professional people being that clueless.

      • Henry
        May 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm

        I have some experience dealing with marketing and advertsing people and even the poorest of them know (1) who their target demographic is and (2) what that target demographic will find entertaining or funny. So I’m not cutting Pepsi Co. any slack here at all, the fact they had to pull the ad gave them exactly what they wanted, more publicity in the form of “look the PC crew is attacking us!”. The people who find this ad offensive are likely not the one’s chugging a 2-liter of the stuff every day.

      • TomSims
        May 4, 2013 at 11:59 am


        I agree completely.

  16. Tim
    May 1, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Mountain Dew is one of those products that has always played around with a transgressive, “edgy” marketing image. Its Wikipedia article has an excellent account of the marketing history. I can remember the old TV ads with the cartoon “hillbilly” character hollering the phrase “Yahoo, Mountain Dew!” followed by a gunshot noise and a hole appearing in something, maybe his hat. I had forgotten the “It’ll tickle yore innards” part. A lot of kids at the time found it funny. Also, mountain dew is a term for moonshine whiskey. So, its very name associates it with an illegal drug associated with violent smuggling activities carried out by stereotypical, white “hillbillies” (a stereotype that is racist? classist? regionalist? something …) Maybe using a goat in this new campaign is a reference to that?

    Besides the groups I mentioned in my comment above, another big target market for MD is gamers. Plenty of blogs lately have been talking about the rampant misogyny in gaming circles. So MD probably does, in fact, think that at least a significant number of their customers are young, white, misogynistic dudebros. As for the racism, gangsta rap and other violent, misogynist hip-hop has always been as heavily marketed to suburban white kids as to blacks, perhaps more so. Said white suburban kids think listening to it and identifying with it makes them badass. Stir this all together and add sodapop marketing execs desperate to keep their product cool, and you get this epic fail.

  17. Cagey
    May 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I actually feel like this ad could have been slotted pretty easily into a sketch show like the Chappelle show or Key and Peele, where this kind of invocation of obvious racist stereotyping with an absurd conclusion that dashes expectations is often employed for humor, but as is there is no real context to it, whereas those shows knowingly present that sort of thing as jokes. So the audience for this just sees a really racist ad being used to sell a…soft drink?

  18. May 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Over on this side of the pond, racism and violence against women faced off when a black American comedian was hauled over the coals for using the n-word at the same Professional Football [soccer] Association jolly where a player who’d been imprisoned for rape days previously was honoured. So let’s kick racism out of football (as the slogan goes) but ignore sex-crimes committed by somebody who pulls in the money?

  19. transleft
    May 2, 2013 at 4:49 am

    So here’s Tyler’s “I’m sorry you that you’re too stupid to see how deep and meaningful my ad is and thus got offended” apology:

    It was never Tyler’s intention to offend however, offense is personal and valid to anyone who is offended. Out of respect to those that were offended and the ad was taken down. For those who know and respect Tyler he is known for pushing boundaries and challenging stereotypes thru humor. This is someone who grew up on David Chappelle. This situation is layered with context and is a discussion that Tyler would love to address in the right forum as he does have a point of view. As someone who hasn’t had the experience of being discriminated against I choose to respect the opinion of those who have… what I can speak to is Tyler who represents much more than the current narrative this story suggests. Contrary to what many may discern from this Tyler is the embodiment of not judging others, his delivery may not be for everyone (which is true for anyone who pushes boundaries) but his voice is nonetheless important to the conversation since his demographic understands what he ultimately stands for and sees the irony of it all.

    • Mztress
      May 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      And…cue the typical asshole “What are you getting bent out of shape for? It was just a *joke*!” response.

  20. AMM
    May 2, 2013 at 6:05 am

    You might want to warn people not to read the comments on Dr. Watkins article. My already pretty tattered faith in humanity took a few more hits after reading the first 10 or so (that’s when I stopped.)

  21. My Duck is Late
    May 2, 2013 at 6:59 am

    The most offensive part of this story is the companies ‘not apology’

    “We understand how this video could be perceived by some as offensive, and we apologize to those who were offended,” the rep said

    Sorry you got offended, we did nothing wrong.

  22. Angie unduplicated
    May 2, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I’d love to know who the ad agency is, so I/we could target their other products for non-purchase. Aside from this, there could be a sanitation problem, regional or national. Half a dozen cans of MD fermented and exploded, one at a time, over several days, in a tenant’s 35 degree fridge. The noise was close enough to gunfire to cause a post-midnight call, and even aluminum shrapnel could be dangerous.

    I’ve owned a billygoat. They stink worse than paper mills and piss on their own faces. So Pepsico thinks that rapey billygoats are America’s new role model. One more off the grocery list for good.

    • May 2, 2013 at 10:43 am

      …I’m kind of morbidly intrigued. Why would a goat pee on its own face?

      • Tim
        May 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

        It is the male goats that smell; rams are the same way. As in many animal and plant species, strong odor is a sexual attractant.

      • Mztress
        May 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

        Because the female goats think it’s sexy.

      • wembley
        May 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

        And today I learned that goats are into watersports.

  23. AMM
    May 2, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I wonder if creating a racist-misogynist ad and then pulling it was a dog-whistle to their target demographic?

    Most of the comments I saw on Dr. Watkins article were accusing the ad’s critics as “racist” and expressing anger at Pepsico for pulling it.

  24. May 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I just found out that Tyler the Creator is coming to my town, and I found this out by reading a glowing review of him in my local free paper. The review defended his misogyny and homophobia by basically saying “But that’s not him! He’s really nice and he has gay friends and it’s just an act!”. I wrote a letter to the editor.

    • Mike
      May 4, 2013 at 2:31 am

      This may be kind of off topic, but where is the line between offensiveness and ‘legitimate’, for lack of a better word, satire here? I think that if this exact same ad had been posted, unchanged, in a context of other skits making fun of horrible ad ideas, it would be funny. Can tv shows/ads humorously point out stereotypes/isms without reinforcing them at the same time?

      • Willard
        May 4, 2013 at 2:39 am


        I think you answered that one yourself! :D

      • May 4, 2013 at 6:39 am

        I think the misogynist violence is so tough, and the horror of the victim in the third part, that you would have to work very hard to contextualize that. If you offered this humorously as a “bad idea”, you would still be presenting visceral images of misogynist violence. Context would have to do A LOT of heavy lifting here.

      • May 4, 2013 at 10:21 am

        Just my opinion, of course, but I think satire only works if it’s clear it’s satire, if it’s clear that the person making the satire doesn’t actually feel that way. Satire shouldn’t be about holding up the status quo. It seems like whenever I read a positive defense of Tyler the Creators work, like the review in my paper, it insists it’s all an act and he doesn’t mean it “that way”, etc. But he’s not gay, and he’s not a woman, so his homophobia and misogyny comes off as just that to me; homophobia and misogyny.

        I think it’s totally possible for people to point out stereotypes and isms without upholding them at the same time, I just don’t feel like that’s what Tyler, the Creator does.

      • May 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm

        True. A lot of people compare it to “Chappelle’s Show”, but Chapelle made it a point to be very self aware and even put a stop to his show when it was clear the message he was putting out wasn’t the same one being perceived by his audience.

  25. Tom Foolery
    May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    It’s possible that no one at Mountain Dew or PepsiCo saw it before it went live. Some “branded content” or “native advertising” deals work like that — the creator gets a brief from the client, and they go off and produce something independently. That’s how Wheat Thins got ripped on the Colbert Report. Most of the time, it works out in the brands’ favor regardless, but not in a case like this.

  26. GinGin
    May 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I think the main point of the advert is that a goat is a cute fuzzy animal, so being terrified of a cute animal that’s acting like a ‘gangster’ is funny.

  27. GinGin
    May 12, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Maybe the could have chosen something more obvious though, like a puppy?

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