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In a world where Cheetos, Doritos, Moutain Dew, and even Looney Tunes have been marketed based on how “extreme” they can be portrayed, spoofs of extreme advertising have arisen in various places and times; both online and off. But within online communities, different memes surrounding amped-up pitches for mundane objects have been created; and others have been inspired to borrow themes and forms from one another.
Notable sources of this trend are:
- Big Bill Hell’s auto dealership parody (*)
- Look at these fucking peppers
- Comedian Mark Little of PowerThirst and Brawndo
Look At These Fucking Peppers
Peppers May 30th, 2007
Currently, the earliest known example of the “Look At These Fucking Peppers” found is on Newgrounds August 18th, 2007.
There is evidence that the “Look at These Peppers” meme started earlier.
- May 28th, 2007, the phrase appears in the comments section on this guy’s Myspace.
Google Insights search data for Aidsvertising begins in April of 2008 and has continued to this day.
We can also see that interest in aidsvertising exceed that of “look at these fucking peppers” in July of 2008.
But Aidsvertising is now defunct, and no cached version of it exists on archive.org making it difficult to assess exactly how Aidsvertising.com influenced the larger meme.
According to Thrillist.com, Aidsvertising was “the handiwork of a sextet of anonymous/insensitive ad men based in NY and points abroad…” Further research has shown that aidsvertising.com is registered to someone named Hua Zheng, but the site remains inactive.
Given the general lack of archive, short life-span, and general anonymity of the creators, we can only assume that the site was a key player in showcasing and building interest in images similar to “Look At These Fucking Peppers” even though it came after.
For more information see the following:
Powerthirst and Brawndo
Powerthirst, by comedian Mark Little, was uploaded to Youtube on May 28th, 2007. Today, the original video has over 15 million views and hundreds of responses and spoofs.
Powerthirst 2: Rocket Edition has over 7.6 million views.
In 2006, Mike Judge Directed the film Idiocracy, a comedy about a dystopian future of mental degenerates. Water has been replaced by a fictional sports beverage called Brawndo. It is eve used for watering plants, though not effectively.
“Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator. It’s got what plants crave. It’s got Electrolytes.”
Following the cult success of the film Idiocracy a real Brawndo energy drink was made, and comedian Mark Little was recruited to create the online ads, in the same style to his successful Powerthirst videos.
An ad from the 70’s for “Rondo: The Thirst Crusher” is a real-life example of extreme advertising, that influenced the writers of Idiocracy to come up with Brawndo, The Thirst Mutilator; and probably played some part in guiding advertising trends that led up to Gatorade.