Eminem gets Brisk, and other bizarre hip-hop commercials
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Amid an excellent performance by Aaron Rodgers and a noble failure by Troy Polamalu’s hair, Madison Avenue and corporate America combined to spend $100,000 per second on Super Bowl ads. Because a love of Doritos and pugs can only take you so far, one of the more interesting commercials was Eminem’s shill for Lipton’s Brisk Iced Tea. After all, nothing says cool and refreshing like a man who once wrote a song called ‘Puke.’ That’s brisk, baby.
Reports claimed that the firm forked over $1 million for Eminem’s services -- and now he can afford that platinum-plated ivory hoodie that he’s always craved. While the wedding of the controversial hip-hop star and the innocuous iced tea makes for unlikely bedfellows, hip-hop is no stranger to such bizarre pairings. In the interest of senseless entertainment (this is a Super Bowl-related post after all), Pop & Hiss takes a look at five of history’s weirdest rap ads.
Moo & Oink’s rapping ribs
Have you ever ambled aimlessly through the butcher’s section of a supermarket and wondered why someone hadn’t written a rap song about the experience? If so, Moo & Oink will tantalize you to the point where you’ll want to import pork links from Chicago.
The commercial grapples with the existential question of whether a cow and pig can successfully rap. And if so, do they make you more likely to purchase scrumptious artery-clogging meats?
Memphis Bleek recommends Garnier Fructis
What happens when you want Jay-Z for a commercial, but he’s got bigger things to do and creepier Russian billionaires to consort with? The answer is obvious: You get Memphis Bleek. Never mind that Memphis Bleek fans and Garnier Fructis fans exist in alternate dimensions. Never mind that Memphis Bleek rocks his hat and thus obscures the sleek nutrient-rich aftereffects of Garnier Fructis. A pure parody of rap’s tone-deaf commercialization. In spite of the bleakness, we can all unequivocally agree that replenishing one’s glow is important.
Sir Mix-a-Lot likes backpack
You can’t blame Sir Mix-a-Lot for doing this commercial. The publishing and licensing money from ‘Baby Got Back’ can only last you so long. Status as the premier Seattle hip-hop legend doesn’t necessarily keep you sheathed in fur coats forever. But baby got backpack takes a cultural touchstone and bar mitzvah staple and turns it into a cheap ad for cheaper Target backpacks. The only thing that could be worse is this song being licensed to an anti-sciatica commercial.
Yo! Zelda raps
The most ridiculous thing about Nintendo’s ‘Legend of Zelda’ commercial isn’t that they poorly tried to appropriate hip-hop cool to ensnare young impressionable children into hours of role-playing nerdiness, but that they thought the game needed any more of a selling point. Zelda was awesome. Then again, Nintendo’s love of hip-hop and Zelda extended past the American market. See this 1992 Japanese ad that attempted to prove that you could only defeat Ganon with synchronized C&C Music Factory-like dance moves.
Boost Mobile takes the big-tent approach
The best rap ads (St. Ides, the early Sprite commercials, anything DJ Quik-related) are created by people who obviously love the music and understand that hip-hop fans come in many different types. Whoever conceived this Boost Mobile commercial seemed to rely solely on the focus group data collected from 14-year-old white girls, trap rap fans, and those who once wore Hot Topic. Plus, someone’s cousin in accounting must’ve gone to college with Jermaine Dupri.
-- Jeff Weiss