Many viewers eagerly got online and typed in the URL without knowing it was for Sprite. I was one of the lemmings, curious as to what I might find. Upon seeing "subLYMONal" in the meta tags, I realized how Ralphie must have felt in the movie “A Christmas Story.”
“Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!”
But it got worse from there. This mysterious web site, already detailed on Flickr, started me on a series of Google searches and LOST fan site visits that merely confused me all the more. The only thing I know was that I spent a lot of time following up on the URL from the "fake ad" and there was no Sprite/consumer payoff of any kind.
Sprite continues to confound. It had my interest. It impressed me with its new approach and its ability to connect with a large segment of their target audience. Sprite intrigued me via TV and left me hanging online. They give me no reason, or desire, to drink Sprite at the end of it all…only the ire to fuel a negative rant for Google to stash away for posterity.
UPDATE: Ad Freak reports on Jeep's LOST tie-in. Perhaps being second has its advantages? Jeep follows the Sprite formula, but actually has an obvious payoff woven into it. If a third sponsor is included in this week's season finale, I hope they saved the best for last.