Blog Post

(Cherry) Chocolate Rain (Again. Sigh.)

Tay Zonday’s latest viral hit starts with a breathy inhalation and ends with a sigh — from this viewer, at least. What’s found in the middle is a passable hip-hop music video full of the requisite clich├ęs — writhing female bodies, grillz, bling, and lots of head-nodding. Baby-faced Zonday is joined by guest rapper Mista Johnson, who claims he and Zonday are “big city pros.” Sponsored by Cadbury Schweppes, the video hawks new the Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper, which is surely as tasty as it sounds.

While the “sell-out” factor here is high (as Zonday himself says, “Now I’m paid a hefty, hefty fee.”), the video and lyrics do recognize Zonday’s roots. The video starts with a shot of Zonday at his keyboard in front of the spartan, white-sheet backdrop that served him so well in his original viral hit. The camera then whip-zooms out to reveal that we are no longer in Zonday’s basement. Lyrics-wise, the Internet sensation begins by saying, “This is the web and it’s gonna murder your TV,” and ends with, “This Internet thing is wild.” But overall, it’s standard rap video fare. The only thing missing are the 22-inch rims. I guess Zonday is still driving his Hyundai.

Milking his Internet fame for all its worth, Zonday appears to still be searching for that elusive record deal, as “unsigned” remains one of the tags on this latest video. Still, the professionally produced track and overly produced video bode well for the baritone. He also appeared earlier this year on VH1’s Best Week Ever, spoofing himself. John Mayer even did an impromptu a capella remix of Zonday’s original hit (entire bit emedded below).

All in all, it adds up to the sort of eclectic heritage that is an Internet meme. And while all of Zonday’s songs are catchy, they always seem only 90 percent baked. Here in “Cherry Chocolate Rain,” a strange lyric finds its way into the song: “Ohio’s agriculture’s based on grains.” A reference to Dr. Pepper’s key ingredient of high-fructose corn syrup, perhaps? If so, it’s the strangest name-check I’ve heard yet.

13 Responses to “(Cherry) Chocolate Rain (Again. Sigh.)”

  1. Are you stupid? It’s not meant to be taken serious. It’s an advertisement that blatantly pokes fun at Tay Zonday’s “Chocolate Rain”. It’s not meant to be a chart topping hit. you’re an idiot.

  2. Craig the Big Story here is how a Big Advertiser recognizes the power of Internet Video and people like Tay Zonday appeal to a different Audience compared to traditional media .This will appeal to the lost demographic (13-25 year olds) that downt watch tradirional TV ,who will have probably seen Chocolate Rain .and understand the the Memes.

  3. the idea is super impressive – and it will get all the hits and people looking at it.

    the execution of putting zonday with a rapper is so old and tired and lame. it’s really ashame actually and nearly insulting.

  4. I want to know the amount of his “hefty fee”?

    I’m guessing he got paid $5,000, when he should gotten mid to high 6 figures (minimally).

    I’m hoping for him, that he sold out for a life changing sum of money, not a couple of months rent.


  5. sell out? wait a sec… wasn’t he a nobody 10 min’s ago?

    if he was doing something that was big and “more succuessful” before… then I guess he did sell out. but judging that he’s a student working on his postgrad, this little video for Dr. Pepper paid down his student loans.

  6. Craig Rubens

    No crack, but definitely too much HFC soda.

    Tim, you’re right that it’s great to see a company with a huge ad budget pick up an internet star and play off the popularity of a YouTube video.

    I wonder now where else beyond Zonday’s own YouTube Channel they will be pushing this. Currently the video has an impressive 300,000 after 24 hours. His original “Chocolate Rain” has 11.5 million views after seven months. I doubt the new video will reach anywhere near that on YouTube but a few mainstream TV ads would certainly get it in front of some eyeballs. But would that mainstream television audience understand the reference?

  7. I am impressed with Dr. Pepper’s willingness to bring in one of the “viral video stars”. It is great and bodes well for all of those indie video producers out there who are trying to earn a living with their online videos – there is hope that you can-do without having to hire an agent and be in Hollywood or New York.

    Of course, you probably do have to do those things if you want to go down the path of a contract with a label, but with the Internet, do you really need to?

  8. Are you smoking crack?

    So what if the video is all that you say it is?

    The big story that you should be writing about is that Dr. Pepper and their creative team get it. They have broken new ground here and I think it will make a difference and move the needle on drink sales.

    It already has you and me blogging about it and it should have a million views pretty soon.

    This one video could launch a marketplace for integrated advertising in existing online brands and talent.

    Keep in mind I am a Pepper ;)