This soft drink brand’s unsettling viral video is one for the books

November 27, 2020 - 2:26 PM
RC Cola ad 2020
A screenshot from the video advertisement of RC Cola released in November 2020.

An old American soda brand made a comeback on social media with an advertisement that’s nothing short of shocking but is certainly unforgettable.

US soft drink brand RC Cola released a short promotional video on Thursday, November 27 on its official Facebook page and captioned it with: “Di naman kailangan ng maraming rason para bumili ka! Basta ‘pag nauhaw ang pamilya, RC Cola! #BastaRCCola.”

The nearly two-minute clip might seem like the regular ad with a bit of family drama to promote the product.

The story follows a boy who returns home and questions his mother if he was adopted because his classmates were bullying him about it.

The odd shift then started to unfold. The boy took off his uniform, laid against his chest on the table and revealed he has four glasses on his back.

The mother was then forced to remove her head with an unsettling twisting sound and revealed it was actually a bottle of RC Cola.

The last scene showed the rest of the family enjoying the RC Cola drink using the glasses on the boy’s back.

While it seemed there’s a lot to unpack for a short ad, it immediately took off across platforms.

On Facebook, it circulated more than 147,000 times and gained over 222,000 reactions.

The reactions were also widely positive wherein 219,000 are laughing emojis, 3,700 are likes and 1,400 are heart emojis.

The video clip eventually reached Twitter where the brand’s name “RC Cola” became one of the trending topics until Friday.

So far, it has more than 13,400 tweets under its belt.

Moreover, it was also talked about in some local and overseas communities in Reddit.

Discussions on the ad

The conversations across platforms vary. There were memes on Twitter about feeling unsettled by what they watched.

Some personalities also expressed disbelief.

TV host Bianca Gonzales seemed to have no words to describe it. “It’s all over my feed and I had to look up that RC Cola commercial. Wow,” she said.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen likewise asked about the staff of RC Cola. “Ok ka lang RC Cola? Concerned citizens,” Leonen said.

Poll lawyer Emil Marañon wondered how the brainstorming went.

There were some deeper reflections on a beverage ad that lasts for a minute or so.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

Cheers and jeers on creativity

While Twitter and Reddit users were mostly disturbed by it, the comments section on Facebook were filled with praises for the company’s production team.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

Twitter page Creatives of Manila, an account for Filipinos in the advertising industry, shared a different perspective, saying how agencies should over more than just being viral.

“Guys, nag-pandemic na and irony of ironies, ang goal pa rin ng ibang ahensiya eh gumawa ng ‘viral’ TV ad. Sa dami ng nawalan ng work at nag-scale down na ahensiya, ‘di niyo pa rin naisip na baka we should offer more substance to clients so we wouldn’t be so readily dispensable?” the tweet read.  

Others, meanwhile, compared it with the TV commercials in Japan, which are also known for their surrealness and oddities.

In 2018, local restaurant Max’s premiered a TV campaign that involves aliens at dining tables.

Snack company Oishi Philippines previously released comic strips about its products as part of its advertisements.

However, some of the stories in the comic series featured the characters eating one another.

These comic strips could still be found on its official website.