Mentos Lessons: The Car MoversPosted: April 22, 2013
We can all agree that when something needs to be made fresh, Mentos should be involved. Of course, if we can’t all agree, I can always use the power of those mints to convince any foolish naysayers.
I am a fan of the old Mentos commercials, the ones that showed how resourceful people who ate that candy could be. Mentos consumers were not only minty fresh, but capable of creatively resolving any situation while winning their tormentor’s admiration.
This is the first of a series of occasional posts I’ll be writing to discuss the lessons of, and the complete spectacularness of the old Mentos ads. Today’s lesson will be on the classic ad, The Car Movers.
An inconsiderate man puts our heroine in a difficult situation. He squeezes his Lincoln Continental into a parking space, but does not leave her enough room to get her sassy Euro-girl car out of the parking space behind his gas-guzzling land yacht.
Before we go on, I’d like to acknowledge the skill of this man. Parallel parking a Continental is no small feat. Doing so in a very tight space, without hitting other cars is very admirable. Kudos to him for being able to do it. As we know, I am the king of parallel parking, but this guy does some top-notch parking and has my respect for it.
That said, he is kind of a jerk. Alerted to the situation he has placed this young woman in, he responds by indicating he is far too busy and important to help. Then he runs away. Literally, he runs away. I don’t respect that, and hope you don’t either.
Our heroine, let’s call her Dana, because I’m tired of impersonal pronouns, does not panic as she watches The Jerk run from her. Dana reflects on her freshness and comes up with an idea.
She calls for assistance. Four burly Sven looking guys in bib overalls come to her aid. The Jerk watches the situation evolve from his office. This development concerns him – what is her plan? Is he about to take a beating from four Swedes who won Honorable Mention ribbons in the local Super Mario look-alike contest?
Of course not, The Freshmaker never advocates violent solutions. The four Svens heft the sassy car out into the travel lane to Dana’s delight and The Jerk’s relieved wonder. Reassured that he is not about to take a beating and out of admiration for Dana’s problem solving skills, The Jerk delivers a head tip of respect. Dana does not respond by taunting him; The Jerk’s acknowledgement is sufficient for her.
What are the lessons of this ad?
First, it depicts the benefit of not panicking. Most any situation is resolvable. Careful consideration is key, panic interferes with that. Dana quickly resolves a dilemma by calm assessment and accessing the resources available. I’ve no doubt that if the Sven quintuplets had not been walking by, Dana would have resolved this problem in some other unique manner.
Second, thinking outside the box is good. Only violence is off the table. When The Jerk ran away, Dana did not become enraged and give chase. She kicked that old box aside and started thinking. Her solution was creative and effective.
Last, victory is its own reward. Once the Overall Gang freed the Sassy Mobile from its parking spot, Dana did not gloat. Her good attitude allowed The Jerk to give her the props she deserved without having his nose rubbed in his insensitivity. As Bruce Springsteen once said, “in the end, nobody wins unless everybody wins.” By not crushing The Jerk with her victory, Dana demonstrated what Bruce espoused.
That concludes today’s lesson. Be fresh, my friends.