Why No One Understands Dr Pepper's Super Bowl 2024 Ad

If you were confused by Dr Pepper's latest Fansville ad, which made an auspicious appearance in the Super Bowl LVIII broadcast, you're not alone. The ad, which features Drew Brees expressing major discontent about losing his defense to a mysterious portal in the sky, is actually based on an '80s cult classic that reunited a whole slew of Universal movie monsters: Gillman (aka Swamp Thing), Dracula, and a cuddly version of Frankenstein's monster.

"Monster Squad" is a 1987 horror-action-comedy co-penned by Shane Black (best known for the iconic buddy cop film "Lethal Weapon") and directed by Fred Dekker. While the movie wasn't a hit upon release, it has since gained a massive cult following, particularly among baby Gen Xers and elder millennials. It's also making big waves on social media, with opinions split between those in the know and those not entirely certain what the inspiration was for the eye-catching Dr Pepper ad.

Inspiration from an unlikely place

The Dr Pepper Fansville series takes a narrative approach to televised advertisements by using popular shows and movies as inspiration. This latest offering has made an impact on Super Bowl LVIII watchers, and a few people even homed in on just what the commercial was paying homage.

A post on X, formerly known as Twitter, pointed out, "So that Dr Pepper transfer portal commercial is the end of The Monster Squad right?" with a clip from the film where a time-traveling Van Helsing is giving a thumbs-up as he has Dracula in a headlock. Other commenters simply enjoyed the commercial for the ecstatic weirdness it provides. As claimed by another X thread, "Fansville @drpepper might be the best ongoing commercial campaign of all time." 

Confused viewers can be forgiven though; although the commercial stars Drew Brees and Brian Bosworth – former linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks and star of the '90s action masterpiece "Stone Cold" – its connection to football is pretty thin. In fact, it doesn't appear to have been made specifically for the Big Game at all. The commercial doesn't feature any references to Super Bowl LVIII and has been available on YouTube since December 2023. Still, viewers seem to be enjoying it — whether they get its cult-classic movie reference or not. It just goes to show that everything is fair game when it comes to fodder for Super Bowl commercials.