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The History Of Those Strange Mentos Commercials From The 90s

Ever since those goofy commercials began airing in the 90s we've been living with that earworm of a song telling us "fresh goes better in life" at the mere mention of the name Mentos.

Since then people have wondered- where did this candy company come from? And what's with the campy commercials?

(YouTube Link)

Many Americans didn't become aware of Mentos until they saw those cheesy commercials in the 90s, but the Van Melle company had been exporting Mentos to America since 1972.

That's the problem that led to those campy Mentos commercials- low sales drove the company to take drastic measures, so they cut their flavor selection from 50 to 2 and hired German ad agency Pahnke & Partners to make those iconic ads.

And those ads actually worked for a while, about 7 years to be exact:

By the mid-1990s, both news media and the burgeoning world of the internet had become preoccupied with the unreality of Mentos.

For Van Melle, the curiosity led to brand awareness that couldn’t have been obtained purely through ad buys. By 1996, Mentos had reached $135 million in sales and was being mentioned or parodied in a number of high-profile spots. The Foo Fighters released a video, “Big Me,” which mocked the cheesiness of the ads; the candy was name-dropped in 1995’s Clueless; the brand got sustained exposure during an entire season of Baywatch. The novelty began to wear off around 1999, when Mentos's sales had leveled despite major growth in what Ad Age dubbed the “strong mint category” of treats.

Read Candy Crush: The Bizarre History Of Those '90s Mentos Commercials at mental_floss


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We got Mentos at the neighborhood market in Miami as a kid in the early 1980s. This was a Cuban market, and as I recall, Mentos were more popular among people with a Spanish-speaking heritage.
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