Mentos candy was created by Michael and Pierre van Melle (brothers) in 1932. They set up shop in Rotterdam
under the name "van Melle". (In 2001 the company merged with the Italian company Perfetti. The company became Perfetti van Melle and relocated to Italy. ) For three decades, Mentos were only available in Holland
, and the UK. In 1960 van Melle began shipping Mentos world wide.
Van Melle engaged in a major North American advertising campaign in the mid'90s. It aired a brace of quirky
commercials on American TV. They were filmed in such a way as to make viewers think
they were European-made commercials dubbed over in english. Clothes, cars, and actors all had a certain swarthy European
look. In actual fact, most of the commercials were filmed in the LA-area.
The commercials were:
- The Broken Shoe - a woman accidentally breaks her heel. She pops a Mentos and then breaks the heel off her other shoe, turning her pumps into a pair of unfashionable flats ... but she's totally fresh she makes it work, baby.
- The Fake Photographer - A small gang of kids want to get close to their favorite movie star but security prevents them. One of the kids pops a Mentos, disguises himself as a member of the paparazzi and manages to touch the hem of his idol's robe. I think he's cured of leprosy too.
- The Airport Tram Ride - A woman has packed too much for her flight. Unable to bear her load, and her legs hurting, she pops a Mentos. She hops on a baggage cart and rides to her gate.
- The Car Movers - A man double parks his car, blocking a woman from getting out. She pops a Mentos and summons a gang of nearby construction workers. The construction works move her Fiat car around the vehicular obstruction.
- Evading Mom - A pair of teens try to avoid their mother in a mall. They pop a Mentos, grab some clothes from a mannequin, and manage to hide with this clever disguise.
- Through the Car - A young man needs to cross a road to regroup with his friends, but a car blocks his way. He pops a Mentos. He opens the car's rear door, and crosses the road by passing through the car's rear passenger compartment.
- The Backstage Crew - A teen wants to meet his rock god in his dressing room but a burly security guard won't let him past the backstage entrance. The teen pops a Mentos. He slaps on a bandana and beer tshirt. He grabs some musical equipment. His roadie disguise is perfect and he passes by the security guard unnoticed.
- The Lunch Date - A male/female couple tries to order a beverage from a waiter in an outdoor café. The waiter refuses to acknowledge them. The man pops a Mentos. He grabs a table cloth from the next table and wraps it around himself to perfect a waiter disguise. He goes up to the bar and gets the drinks they desire.
- The Wedding Woes - A young man is playing soccer. Alas his ball goes over a hedge and lands in a yard hosting a very exclusive wedding reception. He pops a Mentos. He grabs some flowers and then approaches the bride and groom. He grabs his ball, presents the bride with the flowers, and gives her a good luck peck on the cheek.
- Fresh Paint - A man in a suit takes a break on a wooden park bench. Little does he know the bench was just freshly painted, leaving white stripes on the back of his suit. Initially horrified, he pops a Mentos. He rolls on the bench and turns his solid suit into a white pinstriped suit.
- A Tents Situation - A woman tries to find a dressing room to try on her dress, but an old lady cuts her off and takes the last fitting room. She pops a Mentos. She finds a children's tee pee in another department and tries the dress on there.
- Sea of Freshness - A woman kisses her boyfriend goodbye and gets on a boat. Doh. She forgot to give him back his car keys. They both realize this as soon as the boat pulls away. He pops a Mentos and commandeers the controls of R/C toy boat from a nearby kid. He uses the toy boat to ferry back his keys.
- Devil with a Fresh Dress - A woman wearing a long dress accidentally tears the bottom of her skirt with her heels. She pops a Mentos. With a sharp tug, she tears the bottom of her skirt away, turning it into a sexy miniskirt.