Enthusiastic Lies in Advertising
Advertisements are everywhere. Everywhere. From fairly early on, if you’re lucky, you are taught to be aware of this, even if it’s a parental figure doling out a, “you can’t have everything you see on TV” type comment. Ads inform you about a product, and are tailored to make the viewer/listener/unwitting subject desire that product. In the process of attempting this, they can get pretty ridiculous, or entertaining, or both.
Now, if you existed on the internet at any point in time between 2007 and present day, you have likely come into contact with the Powerthirst ad or one of its derivatives. Powerthirst is not about energy drinks, not exactly. It is a parody on advertising with a focus on the specific advertising tropes of energy drinks.
The freedom to provide perspective through parody is a theme I’m pretty fond of. Here parody strips away the pretense of advertising by blowing it up to extreme proportions that do not toe the line of ‘truth in advertising’ so much as pole vault it with a jet pack.
Powerthirst does not actually exist. Powerthirst totally exists as an actual thing. The original ad had no intention of marketing an actual product, however with the exposure and popularity of the video in question, Powerthirst made a go at real-life-not-pretend sales in 2009. This raises fascinating questions regarding the nature of the original video. Now that there is a product that it is actually advertising, how does the function of the video change? It is not a parody, or maybe it is not just a parody. Perhaps the product itself can be considered an extension of the parody, a product that could not possibly hope to achieve the qualities the advertisements boast, but is purchased nonetheless if only for the sheer absurdity of its existence.