Mentos Lessons: What To Do When You’re LatePosted: May 7, 2014
There are universally recognized books of wisdom. People around the world consult the Bible, the Koran and other similar tomes. But there is one source of wisdom that transcends religion, culture and geography – Mentos commercials.
The latest in my Mentos Lessons series features a Mentos advertisement from India about a young man who wants nothing more than to learn algebra. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you The Cheeky Student.
Roll The Film Please, Larry
The Cheeky Student’s format is differently than the Mentos
Commercials Films that I’ve discussed with you so far. In this film, we see our protagonist in the same situation, twice. First, we see how he handles a difficult situation without the aid of Mentos, then we see how much better he handles it with the aid of the minty fresh candy.
The film opens with our hero running down the hallway of his school. He is late for class. He reaches the door and sees that class has already started. Carelessly, The Cheeky Student attempts to tip toe into the room behind the instructor’s back. Because he is not Mentos Fresh, he is caught and sent back out of class.
The situation repeats. The Cheeky Student arrives and pauses enough to formulate a workable plan, then puts it into action. He begins walking in to the classroom, backward. During his first stride we see his hand go to his mouth – he’s popped in The Freshmaker.
A few backward steps into the room, the teacher spots Cheeky. This is when Cheeky reveals the genius of his plan. He reverses his stride, making it look as if he was trying to leave the room. The teacher tells him to sit down – exactly what our hero wanted to do. Because Mentos Freshness brought out his improvisational genius, The Cheeky Student receives an approving smile from an attractive classmate.
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we sometimes find ourselves running late. The Cheeky Student clearly has the best intentions. He knows he is late. But he is not using the meandering stride of a delinquent. He is running as hard as he can, tucking in his shirt and fussing with his hair as he goes. Unfortunately, he expects to be sanctioned for tardiness even though he’s a good kid.
The fact that he expects punishment points out lesson one of this film. The Man is all about keeping you down. Always be aware of this. Even when you are at the top of your class, The Man will use his rules to smack you back down among the riff-raff…if you give him the opportunity.
Because The Student knows his teacher represents The Man and his oppressive ways he also knows he must use the rules to his favor. And so he demonstrates lessons two and three of the film. Lesson two is that it is important to know how to turn your opponent’s attack upon you against him. Lesson three is to observe your opponent long before you need the information you’ll gather by doing it.
In the film we see the Student pause at the door. He knows the teacher’s strict ways. He’s also seen less motivated students try to walk out and get sent back to their desks. His observations of the teacher’s past encounters with lesser students and his recognition that The Man will use rules against him combine with Mentos Freshness to get him exactly where he wants to end up – learning algebra next to the prettiest girl in class.
Let’s summarize. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, like when The Man is going to try to keep you down, remember to pause and not panic. Pause and plan how to use his rules in your favor, then execute your plan in the freshest manner possible.
Need to learn more from Mentos? All the Mentos Lessons to date can be found here.
Also, over at The Nudge Wink Report, I respond to a series of harsh questions.