Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray

There’s this Spanish billboard for Sierra Mist that’s near my work, and I see it every day, and I think about it every day.

Against a blank white background is a giant bottle of S. Mist surrounded by small people. One small guy is chainsawing the bottle vertically, chopping off the front half. This half is falling over onto three other small people, who are recoiling in terror, about to be crushed. The back half of the bottle stays put, revealing what is contained within Sierra Mist: blue skies and white fluffy clouds. There is a Spanish tagline but I can’t remember what it says.

The whole thing looks like it was assembled from royalty-free stock photos in some program that you use when you can’t afford Photoshop. I find it fascinating.

Advertising Expert A: What’s inside a bottle of Sierra Mist? A nice summer day is what.

Advertising Expert B: You mean metaphorically.

A: Keep up with me now. How do we communicate that visually.

B: The viewer dives into a giant bottle and swims around some kind of magical summertime dreamworld.

A: OK but we only have this one picture of the bottle. And only about $200 left in the budget. And this is a billboard.

B: We have someone slice open the bottle and it’s like hell-o!

A: Like with a fucking katana?

B: Yeah like a ninja of some sort.

A: The bottle needs to be the hero, though. Needs to be really big.

B: So he’s the littlest ninja.

A: What if instead it was like a lumberjack, chopping down a tree. That way the sizing thing makes more sense.

B: He’s got a chainsaw.

A: Yeah but except he can’t cut it like a tree, like horizontally, because we need to see the nice summer day inside, so he’s got to cut it from top to bottom.

B: No argument over here. What if he chops that thing and it falls on some people?

A: What the hell are you saying to me right now.

B: Billboards are wide. We need something to fill up the right side.

A: How about a nice tagline like a normal person!

B: Picture it, they’re all: Aiieeeeeee!

A: Because … because the flavor is so big and overpowering and delicious? It could actually crush you?

B: Yeah man. Doy.

A: Dang man you’ve done it again. Let’s put our clothes back on and type this up before we forget!


There’s another one where the little people are trying to climb into the bottle via giant straw, but at least with that one you sort of understand the message.

Anyway I’ve been trying to write a review of Cel-Ray for about a month now and I can’t get beyond: “Hi dudes yeah it tastes exactly like you’d imagine celery soda would taste!!” Fuckin’ Cel-Ray. I suppose if you like ginger ale but want something more in the celery department, you should basically look no further.

You’d think it’d be a gross novelty drink like those turkey-and-gravy ones, but it’s really just kind of inoffensive, like the vegetable from which it is spawned. I figure you’re either picking it up in a Jewish deli without really thinking about it because you’re 78 years old, or you’re making a special trip to find it and then flaunting it in the break room, being all: “Eww look what I’m drinking, here taste this, ewww.”

Frankly my favorite part about this drink is the name. I’m pretty sure Cel-Ray’s new joint drops on August 7. Supposedly taking his sound in a whole new direction, really changing the game up.

17 thoughts on “Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray”

  1. Kev I wrote this one under our new policy of “spend no more than 30 minutes on any review.” I think it’s pretty obvious. Also I stole “keep up with me now” from Brick which I finally just broke down and bought for $14 at Circuit Shittay.

  2. Good job pulling a “review” out of such disparate elements. Let my comment be the first of at least 10 we’ll get asking to see a picture of said Sierra Mist billboard.

  3. Josh tells me stories about the billboards he sees on his way to work. He speaks of them like they’re old friends. He points out billboards of interest. I think he’s cultivating an expertise, and I wish he’d focus a little more on driving.
    There’s a billboard on our commute showing two white-gloved, bejeweled hands linked at the pinky, like the person is making a shadow animal swan? The tagline is: “on the wings of love” and I swear to God he waits for it, he looks for it, and he bursts into song every morning. And I’m talking Luciano Pavarotti, here.

  4. I like Cel-Ray. If all you want is sweet sugary cola-ness or overused flavors like lemon-lime, keep away. But every so often I want something completely different and that’s where the “gross” drinks like Cel-Ray and Moxie and soda water with bitters come in. Black cherry is better though.

  5. I got a good one last night on my cellphone — pulled over on the side of the road in the rain and everything. B-b-but I don’t know how to get it off my cellphone. I can’t email it or connect it to my computer or anything! All I can do is send it to someone else’s phone. Somebody help.

  6. If you send it to my phone, I can send it to my email, and then put it on the internet. This is exactly how Tesla predicted this sort of thing would be done.

  7. Yay, technology. OK I added the photo to the post. Although now that I look at it closely, I realize that the guy isn’t bisecting the bottle, but rather chainsawing it OUT OF THE BILLBOARD ITSELF, revealing the sky behind. My oeil was totally trompe‘d. And my whole one-act play is pretty off-target at this point. As usual.

  8. Someone should write a movie about how we really worked together to overcome technological adversity and get that picture posted to our weblog. Bidding for the rights starts at a cool mil.

  9. Actually I’ve had a pretty awesome mixed drink with Cel-ray. Hendrick’s, Pimm’s No. 1, fresh squeezed lime juice and Cel-ray with cucumbers. It’s awesome.

  10. I’m quite proud of you both.
    And OMFG that is HILARIOUS that you didn’t realize what was going on in the billboard and went off all philosophical with the cloud interpretation. Ohh ho hoo ohhh lord you guys are the best ever! Ahahahhahahahhaa
    That was very big of you to post the pic. after you realized your mistake. *patontheback* *pat* *pat*

  11. “Así de refrescante” = “That refreshing”
    As in:
    “ZOMG there’s a clear blue sky in every bottle of Sierra Mist?!?!”
    “Yeah, dude, it’s just THAT refreshing!”
    … which leads me to believe that your first interpretation of the billboard was more accurate than the second … hmm!

  12. Okay, so I’ve never commented here, much preferring to lurk around in the shadows for the last year and a half or so. But finally, I just can’t take it anymore. You guys don’t update nearly enough, or you do it in huge spurts (I thought about that questionable phrasing but decided to let it ride, because that’s the way I roll). Don’t get me wrong. I’m cool with that. I get that you have like… lives, or whatev. But is there any way possible to get an email update whenever there is a new post? Sometimes I’ll come back here numerous times only to see that it’s the same damn hilarious post that I’ve already read, well… numerous times. And then others, I’ll get fed up with checking back or just forget about you slackers and then suddenly I’ve got like 4 or 10 to catch up on. And then it feels like *work*. Either way is not so much fun. Okay, the latter is more fun than the former, but you hear me, I think. So what about it? Is there some little magical sign-up form that I’m totally missing, or are all of your fans and lurkers alike expected to just be at your beck and call whenever you get around to keeping us in the know on new beverage technology?

  13. Josh: you are completely nuts.
    Beseeching the historical nature of this drink, consider at very least the basic construction of Cel-Ray — celery, sugar, soda water. Cleanliness. It blasts through armies of muddy cola like a vegetal spear. Only cucumber would be better (and might make a better Pimm’s Cup!). I love Cel-Ray.

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