The Last Days of Dada
The talking sheep who love Skittles, and other wacky ads that just don't work.
Likewise, Burger King's notorious Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch spot—the one with a country song performed by Hootie (of the Blowfish)—tried almost desperately to focus on the sandwich at hand. The song had lots of sandwich-related lyrics, and there were even props like giant onions and buckets of ranch dressing. Of course, all anyone will remember is Darius Rucker (aka Hootie himself), the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders in skimpy outfits, and the generic spokes-hottie Brooke Burke—all of them thrown together, in a surrealistic stew, for reasons utterly unclear to us and utterly divorced from the product.
Now, all this said, there are still some things to like about the sheepboys. For one, the previous Skittles campaign was unbearably hokey, with rainbows that showered streams of Skittles onto smiling children. This ad is a major step forward. Also, I love the riveting performance given by the sheepboy on the right. (I'd call him the white sheepboy, but I'm confused about using race as an identifier when the organism in question is for the most part a cloven-hooved ungulate.) The way the actor slurps Skittles off that tree stump is both genius and disturbing.
In fact, this whole ad isn't half bad. It's even a little bit funny. Its problem is that it arrives at a time when freaky-ass ads are a dime a dozen.
C-. If a man/horse hybrid is known as a centaur, mightn't we call these creatures ... sheeptaurs?
Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.