Mentos, also known as “The Fresh Maker”, is a brand of spherical candy that can be found in supermarkets and convenience stores across the nation. Available in rolls of fourteen, the product comes in such flavors as mint, strawberry, green apple, orange, grape, pineapple, lemon yogurt, and black licorice. Far more memorable than the candy, however, is the series of commercials used to advertise it. They feature overeager young men and women solving life’s problems through excessive cleverness, and tend to be utterly bizarre in their presentation.
For example: A businessman, presumably on his way to close down an orphanage, accidentally sits upon a park bench that has been recently painted. Calamity! The man stops to take a bite of some delicious Mentos candy, and a brilliant idea strikes him. He decides to roll around on the bench like a fish out of water, thereby getting smudgy white stripes on the rest of his suit that match the original stains. This makes him look like even more of an idiot, and to celebrate this happy fact he takes another bite of Mentos and smiles enthusiastically for the camera.
American viewers who watch the TV commercials are often completely mystified as to just what the hell is going on in. The odd behavior can probably be explained by the fact that the candy comes from the Netherlands, a sad nation which has long been plagued by soccer balls being kicked into weddings and unsympathetic security guards who won’t let teenagers backstage at concerts. Riding through the baggage claim because you’ve inadvertently packed too much luggage is simply an unfortunate aspect of life there.