How Red Bull Never Gave Me Wings

I never pay too much attention to commercials, I figure most of it is designed to be subliminal anyway and when my brain tells my hand to reach out for certain products while shopping I take it as a sign that it’s working.

But every now and then I do try and listen to what is said, how it’s being sold. I took a few marketing courses during my undergraduate career; not enough to be proficient in it but enough to keep interested in it.

There’s this commercial where a middle aged woman is dancing around in a silly way, literally kicking her heels while digital animations like birds and swirls and lights dance around her in the backdrop of what I assume is a green screen. The theme is age.

She says “In junior high I mastered the latest dance craze. Was it the hustle or the electric slide? In high school I fell for fashion. Did I wear bell bottoms or penny loafers?”

Tauntingly she ends with “I’ll never tell”

So my first assumption this is yet another Neutrogena commercial selling yet another miraculous facial cream that makes 70 year old women look 20. You know, so they can go back to college and get their degrees.


The narrator says “There are many things that reveal your age. Your skin, your hair…and your teeth. So try Crest White Strips and remove 20 years off the look of your teeth.”

Yes, it’s a commercial for Crest White Strips to give your teeth the radioactive ability to glow and perhaps pick up radio waves.

Apparently people can tell how old you are by the color of your teeth. The conclusion we’re supposed to draw is that the whiter the teeth the younger you’ll look.

Then there’s the Red bull commercials. Lately the voice over has changed. The slogan used to be “Red Bull gives you wings!”. This would be after a sketch of a cartoon character growing wings and flying into the sunset like Icarus. Now the voice over ends the commercial with a disclaimer tone saying “Actually Red bull doesn’t give you wings. It’s a high energy drink that vitalizes the body and mind.

I thought at first they were trying to make it funnier but then again they would’ve done that from the start. Are people actually drinking Red bulls and jumping off buildings to test the validity of the wings claim?

I donâ??t know if commercials are so much subliminal as they are dependent on the fact that no one is actually investing too much time in paying attention. I think if governments really wanted to sell a war they should use commercials.


  • I suggest that you read “All Marketers Are Liars” by Seth Godin, a very interesting book, also you can visit his blog,

    For me, Neutrogena worked really good, I used to have a pizza face actually, and 90% of my acnes disappeared.

    As for the Red Bull, the damn thing used to always put me to sleep! I used to drink it a lot during my tawjihi year, as I had to stay up all night usually, but Red Bull always made me feel very sleepy! Weird, ay?

  • Hi there,

    I don’t believe RED BULL gives you wingsm, but the ad is nice. don’t you think?

  • Pheras:
    I totally agree; I always use caffeine to keep me up and working, but one day while working on a project I decided I’ll try Red Bull. I thought maybe it can give me enough energy to work for another non-stop 10 hours or so…
    After drinking the damn thing I wasn’t able to keep my eyes from closing and I snoozed on the keyboard for about an hour.

    I’ll leave my boss’s reaction when he saw key marks on my right cheek to your imagination!

Your Two Piasters: