Learning From Puppy Monkey Baby

Every year, millions of people watch the Super Bowl. This year 111.9 million people tuned in to watch the game on February 7th.  However, this number does not include those who streamed the game, as well as those who watched at parties or restaurants.  CBS determined that nearly 167 million viewers tuned in to watch the Super Bowl at some time that evening.  Statistics show that nearly half of those viewers tune in just to watch the advertisements.  Highlights from this year include: Hyundai’s First Date, Heinz’s Wiener Stampede, Doritos Ultrasound and Doritos Dogs, and of course, Mountain Dew’s Puppy Monkey Baby.  The creepy little hybrid terrified and confused viewers, but it taught us quite a bit about marketing.

In Case You Missed It

In case you missed it, the commercial went as follows: Three young men sit on a couch, bored.  Puppy Monkey Baby (a creature with the legs of a baby, torso of a monkey, and face of a pug) enters through a secret door on the wall bringing a bucket of Mountain Dew Kickstart.  He chants Puppy Monkey Baby, shaking a rattle and dancing on the coffee table.  He gives the each young man a drink, and licks one of their faces.  The men taste the drink, and get up, dancing like Puppy Monkey Baby.  They then follow Puppy Monkey Baby into the hall.

It Was Memorable

Everyone who watched Super Bowl 50 saw Puppy Monkey Baby.  But unlike many of the other ads that slipped into the silence, it was something truly memorable.  Yes, it was terrifying, but it also was something absolutely new.  No one has seen anything like Puppy Monkey Baby before (and we hope that we never do again).  The commercial was creative, strange, and yet, we all love to hate it.  And we all love to talk about it – building brand awareness for Mountain Dew.

Social Media Exploded

Immediately after the commercial, #PuppyMonkeyBaby became the most popular hashtags of the game.  It had 4x more mentions than any other hashtags during the game, completely dominating the Twitter scene.  However, it did also have more negative mentions than positive.  So is it a win if everyone talks about your brand in a negative light?  Maybe so.

Puppy Monkey Baby Reached Its Target Audience

A problem with many advertisements is that marketing teams will try to create a commercial that appeals to all audiences.  However, not all audiences are likely to buy their product.  Mountain Dew created Puppy Monkey Baby for their young adult male consumers.  While their grandmothers found it appalling, the millennials laughed.  The strange commercial made millennial males curious about the new Kickstart drink.  They didn’t try to make the commercial appealing for everyone, just for their target audience.

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