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Sprite’s Ad Campaign with Rappers and Five Deadly Venoms

In my previous post I had addressed when Sprite did an ad campaign with Voltron and hip-hop. This time, I will touch on some other Sprite commercials based on The Five Deadly Venoms.

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The Five Deadly Venoms is a 1978 kung-fu film about a dying master enlisting his final student to check on the activities of five former pupils, each of whom possess unique forms of kung-fu.

In 1999, Sprite put out these commercials featuring rappers portraying the Venoms and the villain.

Like the Voltron ad campaign, each rapper plays a part in the ads.

Blond Bee – Eve

Firefly – Angie Martinez

Ladybug – Mia X

Praying Mantis – Amil

Black Widow – Roxanne Shante

The VillainĀ – Kool Keith

I am not so sure if Sprite went through a nostalgia kick in the late 1990’s with these ads, and that is also including the Voltron commercials, and the use of hip-hop in them as well. Of course, these Five Deadly Venoms ads were also cool in their own way. Unlike the Voltron ads, it doesn’t seem like each of these rappers are representing coasts as most of them are from the East Coast, whereas only one of them is from the South, and that is Mia X. It’s possible that Roxanne Shante was in the role that Afrika Bambaataa was in the previous campaign as she was a pioneer female rapper from the 1980’s, and of course with Kool Keith portraying the master, he was around in that era with his group, The Ultramagnetic MC’s.

Not to mention that there was also a small cameo from Millie Jackson.

I must say that my favorite ad out of all of them was the one with Roxanne and Keith, as they battle-rapped in the midst of a fight sequence.

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Sprite’s ad campaign with rappers and Voltron

It has been a bit since I have last updated this. I am in the process of doing another review but I am debating between another movie soundtrack album, a compilation or an individual album from a rapper or group. Just recently, something came to mind that involved rappers, and it also involved Voltron.

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For those unfamiliar with this, Voltron was an animated series from the 1980’s that involved a team of astronauts who piloted these robotic vehicles that looked like lions and then formed a super robot called, you guessed it, Voltron. I have watched maybe a handful of episodes of the original series on Toonami, which was a block on Cartoon Network that aired some action cartoons like Jonny Quest, Thundercats, and anime series. I didn’t grow up watching this show, but from what I recall, it seemed entertaining. I must add that there were other series of this after the original.

Back in 1998, Sprite released a series of commercials that involved Voltron and the hip-hop culture. If you want to see them, look below:

What was interesting about these ads were that each of the lions had a rapper (and also group) representing areas.

Blue Lion – Goodie Mob, representing the South.

Green Lion – Fat Joe, representing the East Coast.

Red Lion – Common, representing the Midwest.

Yellow Lion – Mack 10, representing the West Coast.

Black Lion – Afrika Bambaataa, the leader of the team representing hip-hop as a whole, as he was one of the pioneers of the culture and a legendary rapper.

I know that this was not the only ad campaign that Sprite did that involved rappers, as a year after, they did one with female rappers and martial arts films, which I will touch on soon.

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