Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mentos, The Freshmaker

WWWF Grudge Match used to have a term they used frequently: "Mentos Level Coolness (tm)." This was considered to be the highest level of coolness attainable, and there were many arguments about whether it was possible to surpass Mentos Level -- for example, did John McClane's nearly superhuman coolness demonstrate that he had broken the Mentos barrier?

The reason I bring this up is that I was trying to think of cultural phenomena that are specifically associated with the early '90s -- as opposed to the late '90s, which I've gone on and on about. I couldn't think of a lot of things that really scream "early '90s" to me; for some reason that period doesn't have the kind of cultural profile that the late '90s or the late '80s or the early '70s do. But I did think of some commercials that seem to be associated with the 1990-1995 period. One of them is the infamous "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial. And another is Mentos (tm), with its commercials about how incredibly cool you would become just by the act of doing whatever the heck you did with Mentos.

If I could think of a cultural profile for the early '90s, it would be this weirdly bland idea of what was "cool," and all these commercials that implied that cool and hip people did things once considered incredibly square (like those Head and Shoulders commercials with the "cool" person making annoying quips).

There are a lot of Mentos (tm) commercials online, but none of them come close to Tai (Brittany Murphy) singing along with a Mentos (tm) commercial in Clueless.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's a Mystery Science Theater 3000 host segment which spoofs the Mentos jingle. I laughed so hard I've never forgotten it.
It went something like:

Cause it's really so fun, cause it's really sublime
When you have super fun eating pasty mints!
You can challenge mores, you can break silly rules, with Mistos fresh and full of life!
Youth is better, old is stupid!
Youth is better so eat Mistos and have a super fun life!