The Internet Is Divided Over Ocean Spray's Surreal Thanksgiving Commercial

Every holiday season is a time when we can expect to see special advertisements from our favorite food brands. In most cases, the aim of the marketing is to encourage an emotional reaction in viewers, whether that be through laughter or tears. If an ad can get you talking about it with your friends and family, then it has achieved some level of success. Take, for example, the emotional McDonald's commercial that comes out every Christmas season, each one seemingly trying to outdo the last in terms of how many tears it can get its viewers to shed. 

When advertisers take on the other, riskier goal of invoking laughter, however, they can end up with a hit or miss. One hilarious hit was the award-winning Old Spice commercial, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," which aired 12 years ago but is still prevalent in people's memories. The spot achieved its aim of not only producing a highly talked-about piece of television, but it also ushered in tons of new sales for Procter & Gamble. Apparently attempting a similar comedic strategy, Ocean Spray just aired a new Thanksgiving commercial that has much of the internet asking if it's trying too hard. 

Does this ad make you laugh or cringe with embarrassment?

The aptly named sub-Reddit r/CommercialsIHate recently saw a user post their dismay over the new Ocean Spray commercial, calling it an "abomination for cranberry sauce." The offending advertisement start's with a family's rather boring Thanksgiving gathering, which quickly turns up when someone brings a tray of Ocean Spray's wiggly canned cranberry sauce to the table. Mimicking the wobbling sauce, everyone starts violently dancing (or, jiggling) to an original electronic track by Mack Goudy Jr.

In a press release, Ocean Spray's head of marketing Dan Hamilton said he hopes "people will feel the joy" of the holiday season after watching the commercial. However, it seems Reddit had very mixed feelings about the ad. In response to the original post, people said things like, "Every advertiser is going for that off-kilter type of 'humor.' These commercials show that it is exceedingly difficult." Another called it "creepy and disturbing," echoed by a different user's comment, "Take a still of this without context and I'm sure you could confuse it for a horror film." 

On the other hand, many people were tickled by the commercial. One even said, "I thought it was hilarious. I laughed so hard I cried." The praise on YouTube is even better: "This is the best commercial I've seen in quite some time," one viewer wrote. "This is precisely how conventional brands can create a memorable campaign." Comedy may be subjective, but whether people love or hate this Ocean Spray commercial, it's got people talking — which is typically a win.