marketing fails

Sprite Releases ‘Brutally Refreshing’ Ads That End Up Just Being Misogynistic

The banner ad that appeared on JOE.ie, a popular men's site.

This is easily the biggest advertising crash-and-burn with women since Bud Light suggested beer makes females “up for whatever”: Back in March, Sprite launched a new ad campaign in Ireland where the soda-maker promised to tell people candid “truths.” Called #BrutallyRefreshing, it seemed innocuous, if cheesy, enough at first, the idea being to boldly celebrate “those with guts to tell it like it is.” Early examples of Sprite’s candor included “One dip is never enough,” and “If you have to give your taxi driver directions, you’re better off walking.”

In recent weeks, however, people started to notice these “truths” sort of undergo a tonal shift:

Among the clever new phrases that appeared on billboards and in online ads were “A 2 at 10 is a 10 at 2!” and “She’s seen more ceilings … than Michaelangelo.”

The editor for JOE.ie — the men’s site where the Michaelangelo ad was first spotted — quickly rethought his site’s involvement:

Now with some hindsight, Sprite’s gotten remorseful as well, saying it regrets the slut-shaming direction. “The campaign has now come to an end and the advert in question will not appear again,” a rep says.

Sprite’s ‘Brutally Refreshing’ Ads Are Just Misogynistic