Mountain Dew’s Super Bowl Commercial is a spoof on the iconic horror film The Shining and features an angry Bryan Cranston trudging through the Overlook Hotel in search of Tracee Ellis Ross.
In the unsettling, but comical ad, Cranston does a spot-on portrayal of the character originated by Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of the Stephen King novel.
In the spot, Cranston attempts to chop down the door, as Wendy, played by Ross, screams in the corner of the bathroom, wielding a toilet brush. In a creepy, possessed voice, Cranston booms, “The same refreshing taste as the original, but without any of the SUGAR!” When he finally breaks through the door, he says, “Heeeere’s…Mountain Dew Zero!”
Ross grabs the beverage and calmly replies, “I am thirsty.”
Nicholson admits he was nervous to be part of the commercial. On Saturday night, he told People, “I love Nicholson and I love The Shining, and when I first heard the pitch – they came back to me and some of the dialogue was, ‘Maybe better than the original’ and the only concern I had was, ‘I don’t want anyone to think that Bryan Cranston is saying that I’m better than Jack Nicholson.'”
He continued, “He’s a god. So unbelievably talented and watchable in everything he does. So, I was nervous about that… They assured me we are going to make sure it was clearly a parody. So I was happy.”
Cranston Also Dresses as the Grady Twins From the Film
One of the more enjoyable moments in the commercial comes when Cranston dresses as the Grady twins from the movie– fully clad in the blue dress with a wig and clips in his hair.
The company’s goal with the spot? To show that Mountain Dew Zero Sugar is just as good as the original.
In a January 28 press release, Erin Chin, Senior Director in Marketing at Mountain Dew, shared, “DEW launched a Zero Sugar product for the first time ever this January and we’re using our Super Bowl spot to tell fans it’s ‘As Good As the Original, Maybe Even Better.’ We partnered with two major Hollywood actors to help us tell that story on one of the world’s biggest stages… We hope fans will enjoy the unexpected humor and fantastic casting of Tracee and Bryan.”
Mountain Dew Is Launching an Augmented Reality Snapchat
Mountain Dew isn’t just showcasing their new commercial– they’re also launching a Snapchat filter that will allow fans to superimpose themselves into the twins’ scene in the DEW commercial. The Snapchat filter will be available on game day and after that, too.
Much to the delight of fans, Ross recently shared the commercial on Instagram, writing, “Ladies and gents, I present the premiere of the @MountainDew #SuperBowl commercial: I got to remake #TheShining with @BryanCranston! Shut the front door! What do you think? As good as the original, maybe even better? #MTNDewZeroSugar.”
The press release describes Mountain Dew Zero Sugar as a “great-tasting beverage that offers fans all the bold charge and flavor of the original MTN DEW, now with zero sugar. The thirst-quenching beverage is arguably As Good As the Original, Maybe Even Better. It is available for purchase across retail stores nationwide.”
This year, companies are spending $5.6 million on a 30-second Super Bowl spot, according to CBS News. And with over 100 million viewers, there’s a lot on the line.
Tonight, the San Francisco 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.