The true origins of the weirdest Super Bowl ad of all time

What Makes Great TV Ads? This is what the creators of the iconic (and at the same time intimidating) Puppy Monkey Baby commercial pondered when they came up with their now famous Super Bowl 2016 commercial. videos anywhere and anytime. Given the fact that most people hate watching ads and have literally given up on cable TV to avoid them, the fact that millions of people have opted to watch Super Bowl ads is telling.


While many of the best Super Bowl commercials and ads in general feature A-list celebrities, the creators of Puppy Monkey Baby shied away from the star. Even Snickers made sure to drop the late Betty White into a Super Bowl spot. Instead, they tried to come up with something deeply memorable to help sell Mountain Dew’s energy drink, Kickstart. The result was a media storm. Everyone was talking about monkey puppies… And while people these days may not remember what Puppy Monkey Baby advertised, they definitely do remember this creature. It’s hard not to see it. Here is the true origin of the Puppy Monkey Baby Mountain Dew Super Bowl Roller …

The idea for the monkey puppy was based on familiar Super Bowl commercials

The reaction to Puppy Monkey Baby is divided. While everyone was talking about it, half of the audience was shocked by how amazingly strange the conga, puppy monkey, face licking and dancing was, the other half was disgusted. Fortunately, according to captivating oral history from MEL Magazine, this is exactly what the creators of Monty Pera and Don Marshall Wilhelmy sought.

Monty and Don met while working in advertising at McCann and then moved to advertising agency BBDO, which partnered with Mountain Dew on their 2016 campaign that resulted in Puppy Monkey Baby.

“Puppy Monkey Baby was our first assignment for Mountain Dew. We had a different account and got a call in July or August before the Super Bowl and we got this assignment, ”Don explained to MEL Magazine. “At first we didn’t know it was a Super Bowl ad. We knew it was going to be a TV series, but they hadn’t decided yet if it was going to be a Super Bowl commercial, so we were just going to have a business trying to come up with a concept. Then they called us and said it was for the Super Bowl, which just raises the stakes on everything. A place in the Super Bowl for a client is a huge amount. This is probably the largest TV investment they can make because it is one of the few times in the year that people pay attention to advertising. So when a brand decides to do this kind of ad, they are looking for attention – they want to be talked about. “

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According to Don, it’s funny in the advertising world that Super Bowl videos are about cute puppies, babies, and really stupid things. And even a lot of monkeys are involved in the ad. Why? Because puppies, monkeys and babies are exceptionally cute and can sell things … especially when they are doing something amazing.

“These are all familiar Super Bowl ad imagery. These are the ones that outperform the ad counters and the various ranking systems the industry uses to measure these metrics. let’s try to use them all, ”said Monty.

Ultimately, the trails became the inspiration for the Monkey Puppy commercial. The idea, born as a joke, soon took on a life of its own.

“While it started out as a joke, it ended up being a kind of product fluke, because strategically the Mountain Dew Kickstart contained these three main ingredients: Mountain Dew, caffeine, and fruit juice – or something that was hardly legal fruit. “Juice. As soon as Don discovered this connection, we thought that maybe it was more than just a stupid idea, “explained Monty.

Monty and Don’s bosses took this idea as well. Although the design of Puppy Monkey Baby had to go through several changes as they were afraid to scare their audience. When they came up with the idea for Mountain Dew, they immediately replied in the affirmative.

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Testing ads and reactions to a monkey puppy

Unfortunately, the ad went through very bad tests prior to release.

“There are different types of testing, but in the case of Puppy Monkey Baby, we made a so-called animatic, which is a really low-quality animated version of your commercial. This is done before you hired a director or whatever, so it’s purely from us and from what we’re thinking, ”Monty said. “Mountain Dew really went out of their way, both with testing and internally. Mountain Dew is owned by Pepsi and Pepsi does a lot of conservative advertising, so Mountain Dew brand manager Greg Lyons had to sell it there. It took a lot of courage. “

After creating the weird animatronic puppy and filming a commercial, he finally aired in 2016 and took the world by storm. Since its release, Puppy Monkey Baby has morphed into memes, plush toys, birthday cake designs, Halloween costumes, and most importantly, funky generations of Super Bowl viewers.

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