So somehow I ended up on this Coca-Cola New Zealand mailing list and a couple of days ago they informed the masses that “One of New Zealand’s favourite beverages of the 80’s [sic] is back by popular demand to quench your thirst this summer.”
It turns out this “favourite beverage” is Mello Yello, which was such a favourite that they stopped making it in the late ’80s.
The only thing I remember about Mello Yello was the TV ad, which featured a lady with giant frosted blonde hair (like Princess Diana, but sluttier) at the beach, who sculled back not one but two bottles of Mello Yello, with each drink preceded by a rhyme. Then the voices sang, “Mello Yello makes you feel so good so fast from your head down to your toe. Mello Yello makes you feel so good so fast. You just can’t drink it slow.” This was, like most ads, a dirty lie. It was also not a cool ad, because I remember it being mocked in the playground at my school.
I don’t remember drinking much Mello Yello in the ’80s. Soft drinks were a special occasion drink, and when I had a choice, I would have probably gone for Fanta or the more grown-up, sophisticated choice, Coke.
But not only is Mello Yello being brought back (for a limited time only), it’s also being promoted with an ’80s nostalgia angle. There’s even a MySpace page for it where Mello Yello’s favourite TV shows include The A Team, Knightrider, The Dukes of Hazzard, and CHiPs.
This morning I noticed Mello Yello in the fridge at my local dairy so I bought a bottle. It seemed to only be available in a 600ml bottle, which is ridiculously large and even more than the two bottles the ad lady sunk back in rapid succession.
I drank a bit and it was not a the magic liquid nostalgia experience I seemed to have been promised. It just was this cloyingly sweet, murky yellow fizzy beverage. It didn’t even have a pleasing citrus tang.
But maybe I’m doing it wrong. Maybe the only way to properly enjoy Mello Yello is to rapidly drink it, to slurp back 302 kilocalories in mere seconds and get so high that all your worries disappear and then enter a parallel universe where it’s like the ’80s but without bad coffee, sexism, shops closed on Sundays or that prime-time TV show about dogs herding sheep.
So I won’t be buying any more Mello Yello. It can happily retire to the land of unwanted ’80s nostalgia. And besides, Mello Yello didn’t even accept my MySpace friend request, so, really, it can just piss off.