Snapple Leaps Into the Absurd with Ads That Bring Its Cap Facts Vividly to Life

Spots to haunt your subconscious

Real Fact #6001: This is one loopy campaign. 

Deutsch pours on the silly for Snapple in new ads that breathe life into those numbered bits of (dubious) information printed inside the brand's bottle caps.

Thankfully, this isn't one of those "aspirational" campaigns that feels like a stretch for the product. There's no lofty message or deep dive for insight. There are, however, actors dressed in bee costumes, buzzing into a maternity ward for a very special delivery:

There's also a dolphin nosing around a perfume counter. Ah, the sweet scent of absurdity!

"This type of approach works because it's simple and lighthearted," Guto Araki, group creative director at Deutsch, tells AdFreak. "It still surprises people when a commercial can make them laugh. People are tired of brands asking them to do or be something."

One thing you really don't want to do is dance during the National Anthem in Massachusetts, especially when there's a legal eagle around to make a bust: 

"We start every spot with the pop of the Snapple cap," Araki says. "From that point on, it's like we are unleashing the genie from the bottle. It's a sneak peak into the character's imagination, which is always a mix of what they're thinking and the reality they know—the way a nurse imagines a bee being born, or how a waitress sees a king of hearts being teased by the other kings."

Yeah, you gotta hand it to those kings. They're real cards: 

"The kings stayed in character the whole day—even when we weren't shooting," Araki recalls. "Many of the lines from the spot were improvised by the talent. They came in ready with card jokes—'The deck is stacked,' 'Shuffle on back, it's not a full house without you.' It was pretty entertaining."

Finally, to illustrate the "fact" that the first spam was sent by telegraph in 1864, the team, led by Hungry Man director Dave Laden, went all out to painstakingly recreate an age where a $20 million windfall meant "Horses for everyone!" 

"We actually hired a professional to 'age' the set," Araki says. "The person's entire job is to make the set look authentic to the 1800s." 

Nice work if you can get it.

The campaign, tagged "Make time for Snapple," really satisfies. The spots are odd enough to capture and hold your attention, and the "fact" reveals are pretty cool payoffs (though the telegraph office is perhaps a tad too busy to take everything in at a single viewing—keep it simple, guys!). 

"Even the product shots were fun to make," says Araki. "I remember seeing the puppeteer caressing a Snapple bottle with a dolphin fin and thinking how lucky we all are to work in this business."

The commercials will run through the summer, mainly on cable TV, with additional bizarro video content online from The Richards Group featuring the same characters. Check out a few of those spots below. That dolphin runway walk will haunt your nightmares! Quick, throw it back!

CREDITS

Snapple:

EVP, Chief Commercial Officer: Jim Trebilcock

SVP, Core 5/Noncarbonated Marketing: Regan Ebert  

VP, Core Flavors and Snapple: Dave Falk 

Director, Core Flavors: Brent Chism

Senior Brand Manager, Snapple:  Kevin Brandvold

Director, Creative Content Marketing: Nita Sherrard 

   

Deutsch:

Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat

Executive Creative Director: Bob Cianfrone   

Group Creative Director: Guto Araki