Bryan Cranston spoofs ‘The Shining’ in Mtn Dew Super Bowl ad

Ad for Mtn Dew Zero reprises the famous ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene in the 1980 horror flick

Published On
Jan 28, 2020

Editor's Pick

Bryan Cranston subs for Jack Nicholson in Mtn Dew’s Super Bowl ad that spoofs the famous “Here’s Johnny” scene from “The Shining.” The PepsiCo brand plugs its new Zero Sugar variety in the 30-second spot by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York, the extended version of which is seen above.

The brand, which has been teasing the ad since Jan. 16, had earlier revealed that actress Tracee Ellis Ross would play the role of Wendy Torrance, originally portrayed by Shelley Duvall. She is the wife of Jack Torrance, the writer-turned-homicidal maniac played by Nicholson in the 1980 horror flick. 

In Dew’s version of the most-well known scene in the movie, Cranston breaks through a bathroom door with an ax—just as in the movie—but instead of saying “Here’s Johnny,” he says “Here’s Mtn Dew Zero.” And instead of fighting him off with a knife as in the film, Ellis Ross wields a shower brush but easily relents because “I am thirsty.” In the movie, “redrum”—murder spelled backward—is written on the door, but in Dew’s version it is replaced by Mtn Dew spelled backward. The final scene shows Cranston dressed as the film’s creepy identical twin characters.

The ad’s tagline is “As Good As the Original, Maybe Even Better,” a dual reference comparing Zero Sugar to regular Dew and the ad to the movie. 

Of course, Shining loyalists might rather see Cranston doing an actual remake of the film, rather than popping up in a spoof ad for a soda brand—and it will be worth watching the reaction of film buffs on Super Bowl Sunday.

The ad for the sugar-free drink seemingly targets baby boomers and Gen Xers who are well-versed in Shining lore. (The film is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.) But Dew is trying to connect with younger generations via Snapchat and TikTok, the social media platforms popular with teenagers.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Dew will debut an augmented reality Snapchat filter that lets users superimpose themselves into the twins scene in the ad. On TikTok, the brand will run an “#AsGoodAsTheOG Challenge” that “will make creative use of the ‘twin’ tool and dance challenge to rally TikTok-ers to participate,” according to a press release. (Kids using both programs might need their parents to explain what it is all about.)

Dew is also tapping into Instagram, where the brand will feature “Tony”—the invisible friend of Danny Torrance in the film. Tony will be used in Instagram Stories to provide Super Bowl commentary.

See the 30-second in-game version below: 



Jan 28, 2020
Client :
Mtn Dew
Agency :
TBWA/Chiat/Day-New York
Chris Beresford-Hill
Amy Ferguson
Julia Neumann
SR. CW :
Christopher Santaiti
Ashley Veltre
Avi Steinbach
Alexander Holm
Head of Production :
John Doris
Executive Producer :
Amanda Revere
Director of Business Affairs :
Jennifer Bilyk
President :
Nancy Reyes
Business Lead :
Bruna Bechelli
Business Director :
Matthew Duerr
Business Manager :
Allie Lightcap
Business Manager :
Chris Butler
Chief Strategy Officer :
James Sowden
Executive Strategy Director :
John Gibson
Senior Strategist :
Michael Obermeyer
Director of Communications :
Alice Ryan
Communications Manager :
Asheden Hill
Associate CW :
Josh Peterson
Associate AD :
Lauren Piccirillo
Executive Strategy Director Digital and Social :
Tom Hyde
Strategy Director Digital and Social :
Lesley Parks
Senior Strategist Digital and Social :
Bodi Karsono
Digital Executive Producer :
Jen Vladimirsky
Senior Producer :
Steven Kreuch
Production Company :
Director :
Tom Kuntz
Executive Producer :
Eriks Krumins
Line Producer :
Emily Skinner
Edit :
Editor :
Jason Macdonald
Editor :
Nick Schneider
Ex. Producer :
Corinna Dennison
Producer :
Laura Molinaro
Asst. Editor :
Max Redinger
Color :
Colorist :
Tim Massick
Audio Mix :
Audio Engineer :
Rob Fielak
VFX/Finishing :
VFX Supervisor :
Doug Luka
Ex. Producer :
Graham Dunglinson
VFX Producer :
Kristin Engdahl
Ex. Creative Director :
Randie Swanberg
Lead VFX Artist :
Joey Deady
Original Music Composition :
Found Objects Music Production
Jay Wadley
Trevor Gureckis
Composer :
Ben Marshall
Junior Composer :
Adam Weiss
Executive Producer :
Jennie Armon
Head of Production :
Matt Nelson
Producer :
Nick Chomowicz
Music Coordinator :
Agatha Lee

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