Sprite. Because conformity is so edgy.

It should come as no surprise that Sprite’s Sublymonal ad campaign is a cheesy reminder of how lame the Matrix trilogy was; like Pepsi’s detestable Oneify campaign, Sprite is employing a faceless hive mentality to hawk its sugary fizz-water. But the ads are memorable, and quite a departure from the lovable scamp Miles Thirst. So when I noticed Sublymonal’s Web address across the bottom of the screen, I had to peek. How bad could it be? Well, for one thing, it’s poorly laid out and overburdened by gimmicks. The main page has six tiny screens, all quickly flashing images, rotating around a subject field. Code words pulse briefly; typing them in unlocks different things, like ads we’ve already seen on TV and a song by Talib Kweli that took three minutes of my life and gave me nothing in return. Not to mention the repetitive sound clips and blinking green lights that offend the senses at every turn. Besides, do Americans, who are more socially isolated than ever, really need an ad campaign built around mind control, obedience and conformity? At least Dr Pepper (“Be you, be what you do”) had the decency to try to fool people into feeling like individuals.

—Posted by David Kiefaber