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.