Buzz Clip: Time for Sprite to put on its skates

Tuesday, June 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If you have hockey fever, Sprite has just the commercial for you. Or if you are sick of hockey, Sprite also has just the commercial for you. And the funny thing is, it's the same commercial.

"Iced" holds the current-but-constantly-changing title of funniest 30-seconds on television. A handsome young man takes a swig of soda and skates across an ice rink as a voice asks "Can Sprite make a world-renowned figure skater better . . . at hockey?" Suddenly, the spandex-suited skater is surrounded by a pack of hockey players.

For the rest of the commercial, we watch as little Johnny Fancy Pants tries to skate his routine while getting creamed every few seconds by one or more hockey hulks.

All this to drive home the message: "Don't expect a soft drink to make you anything but less thirsty." Just another confoundingly cool moment in a campaign that, since 1994, has been telling us: "Image Is Nothing" and "Obey Your Thirst."

"We're just trying to find relevant ways to connect with our audience without overhyping ourselves," says Sprite spokeswoman Susan McDermott, referring to the ultra-hip, super-savvy youth market at the top of every soft-drink maker's wish-list. "The worst thing you can do with that group is be guilty of hype."

And so, in the anti-hype spirit, the end of the hockey season will bring an end to this hockey commercial. "Iced" will go off in the next few weeks, according to Ms. McDermott - all part of keeping things fresh in a campaign that has gone through almost 100 commercials.

Hyping anti-hype is hard work.

Buzz Clip is an occasional feature on cool commercials.