Press Release of the Week: special “been gone so long” edition

First of all, apologies that I haven’t written this blog feature for a few weeks, but I’ve been moving and – well, let’s face it, you don’t care about the details. Point is, I’m back, and promise to continue bringing you each week’s most entertaining/bizarre/depressing press releases, as decided on by me, until I no longer feel like doing it anymore. On with the show!

For all of you who need your Mountain Dew to be just a little more extreme (and disgusting), this week’s announcement should come as good news: Pepsi-Cola North America is launching Mountain Dew Pitch Black II. For anyone who’s forgotten Mountain Dew Pitch Black I, it was a scary black liquid that looked kind of like a cross between motor oil and turd water. I never drank it, so I can’t comment on the taste, but according to Pepsi-Cola North America it’s like regular Mountain Dew, but with “a splash of black grape, a cool metallic label, and a brand name that consumers love.”

Only, hold the phone, because this time they’ve added a little something extra to the mix. As they tell us in the press release: “look out for the sour bite!”

I will look out, kind sirs, but only if you promise to also look out: for when my gag reflex kicks in and I vomit all over your starched white shirts and Perry Ellis Portfolio ties.

I remember several years ago when the “super sour” phenomenon swept the nation. Sour Patch Kids. Super Sour Gobstoppers. Gum that was so sour it made your face look ever so briefly like Hans Moleman. But I thought that was another one of those silly fads – like thick fluorescent shoelaces, or supply side economics – that had thankfully fallen by the wayside. Not so, if Mountain Dew has its way. And, really, when has Mountain Dew not had its way?

"Sour flavors are big right now with teens and young adults, so we added a sour bite to Mountain Dew Pitch Black II." That’s Katie Lacey, VP-marketing, carbonated soft drinks, Pepsi-Cola North America, speaking. I imagine Katie as the girlfriend of one of those obnoxious Mountain Dew Extreme!!!! Guys, waiting patiently at the bottom of the mountain in the Nissan XTerra while Jimbo and Danny and Muttonchop swill urine-colored sodas and go para-bungee-BMXing until their limbs rip right off.

I can’t decide what the funniest thing about this press release is: a) that Mountain Dew thinks there was an audible clattering from the youth of America to bring back Pitch Black, b) that Katie Lacey compares the soda product to a movie sequel, or c) that the company’s promotional website features “a gangly redheaded character named Cliff who shows his devotion to the product by conducting a ‘Pitch Black Experiment’ by living in total darkness for 90 days.”

90 days in the dark? That is, like, so totally fucking extreme! You’re crazy, dude! Crazy!

Because I feel bad for abandoning this feature for the past few weeks, I’m offering you two special bonus press releases, at no extra charge. First up is this doozy, from Chris Simmons, self-proclaimed leading authority on "press release optimization."

A press release for a product that helps you release better press releases! How totally meta! Although it would perhaps be a more convincing campaign if this press release weren't so damn hard to read and so filled with the kinds of words crappy PR people invent rather than opening a dictionary or a thesaurus.

Lastly, there’s this announcement, from Virginia Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine, who says he’ll sign a resolution this week supporting the Helmets to Hardhats program, which “encourages construction companies to hire former and active members of the military to apply for jobs.”

Am I the only person who hopes this press release contains a crucial typo? Or is Virginia Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine just being the most ironic motherfucker on the planet? Is our country even producing any ex-military people these days? Are there a lot of active duty military men and women standing around, helmets in hand, saying “Gee whiz, I wish I had something to do. Couldn’t we, like, get involved in an interminable occupation or, say, build a shopping mall, so I could see a little action?”

I’m going to assume that what Kaine meant to support was a Hardhats to Helmets campaign. Or perhaps an Any Sort of Hat You Can Put On Your Head Or Even No Hat At All to Helmets campaign. Because that might make more sense.

On the other hand, I suppose America’s numerous Wal Marts of Liberty and McMansions of Freedom aren’t going to construct themselves. And who better to construct them than America’s all-volunteer Army, which Dick Cheney (in another extremely irony-laced statement) recently compared to the ragtag bunch of freedom-loving Americans who staved off the British imperialists in the Revolutionary War?

After these guys get to come home, if they get to come home, shouldn’t they at least get a vacation? Or how about some cushy office job, with a window and one of those hydraulic chairs? Then again, after a long stay in Iraq fighting off bomb-wielding insurgents, I suppose nailing some shingles or cutting a little dry wall may feel like a week at Club Med.

1 comment:

TMC said...

I think the Press Releases of the week are the MVPs of this blog. Glad to see them back.