Anyone else think that the advertising team of 5-hour Energy blew it with their latest offering? If you’ve seen the commercials, you know they all suck but in addition to low production values and a horrible premise, this spot is a victim of timing.
The commercial features a stereotypical skater punk pitching Monster Energy Drink and being rather obnoxious. If you didn’t notice, the X Games just wrapped up in L.A. Almost every athlete is sponsored by Monster and precisely zero of them would appreciate the representation of their culture offered by Living Essentials, the company behind 5-hour Energy.
The commercial doesn’t merely put Monster and 5-hour Energy in opposition. It pits the extreme sports movement against the khaki clad establishment. While 5-hour Energy is the drink that’ll push you to get it done, Monster, and by extension action sports, is written off as “kid stuff.” As if that’s not enough, after work is mentioned our button-up boasting here taunts the skater: “You should try it.”
And so, in accordance with stereotypes as old as skateboarding, practitioners are lazy bums.
Really, this might have never caught my eye. But why did 5-hour Energy choose to alienate what is likely one of its largest customer bases at just the moment the demographic (18-35, white, male and tattooed if you were wondering) is flocking to the television for the X Games? It makes no sense. Skaters, riders and drivers turn on the TV for a celebration of their sports and achievements and they’re subjected to insult and ridicule. The attack comes from a brand practically tailored to them that’s chosen to compete in an adversarial fashion with the company who has put its support fully behind behind actions sports athletes and their fans.
They’ve turned Monster versus 5-hour Energy into skaters versus pen pushers and bean counters. We pen pushers and bean counters could care less, while those affronted skaters will write off 5-hour forever. Nothing is gained; a segment of the population is lost, and a brand suffers a self-inflicted wound.