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Diet Coke: Yo Mama's Underpants  ( view commercial )

How do you create a new television commercial for a product everyone already knows about? How do you make a diet cola appear... well, like something other than a diet cola? If you're Coca-Cola's ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, apparently you pop a couple of valium and fantasize about your wife wearing your mother's underwear.

I'm not saying the new Diet Coke commercial is BAD, exactly: it's just a bit twisted and disturbing. The scene opens fuzzy and washed out, with a thirty-something married couple doing laundry in their sparsely-decorated loft space. The narrarator, presumably the husband, says,

"When we first got married, she would wear really sexy underwear, like you see in underwear ads. After awhile, she started wearing the kind of underwear that I saw in the hamper when I was a kid."

At this point, most men watching are nodding sympathetically, thinking, "dude, bummer, she's wearing the same underwear your MOM used to," and the women are rolling their eyes in disgust. But wait, the narrarator has more to say:

"There's something oddly reassuring about that thin, washed out cotton underwear with the little yellow flowers."

Now the men are groaning loudly in protest, and the women are thinking, "Just like a man - wants her to be his whore and his mommy too. Hmmmph!" Though the intent with this commercial was to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy about mature relationships, what in fact has happened is the audience now associates their visceral repulsion to Oedipal Love with Diet Coke.

Mazzy Star's song about obsessive melancholy longing, 'Fade Into You,' serves both as soundtrack and final coffin nail for this surreal disaster of a tv spot. Hopefully Coca-Cola will fire the agency that made this ode to motherly love, and find someone that can help them reaffirm that Diet Coke does indeed have fewer calories than regular Coke.


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