Taking the Plunge

By Julie Anderson

The NESTEA plunge, that is.

The hugely successful Take the Plunge commercial campaign for Nestea began in the 70s, so our older siblings and cousins knew all about it. (Random trivia – from 1978-1980, Six Flags St. Louis’s Log Flume ride was called the Nestea Plunge!) However, we 80s kids sure loved it as well. Taking the Nestea plunge was a favorite pool and lake game when I was growing up.

The commercial campaign’s basic premise was GENIUS. By watching it, we learned that Nestea was SO INCREDIBLY REFRESHING on a hot day that we could stand at, like, the edge of a tablecloth:

or a blue painted barn door:

take a sip of icy tea, and fall backwards into a pool of cool blue water.

Taking the Plunge was (and is) a worldwide phenomenon:

So, you’d think the game would be simple enough, right? Just stand at the edge of a body of water, hold your body stiff, and fall backwards.

Taking the Nestea Plunge! (photo credit: gtotiger68)
Photo credit: gtotiger68

Simple? Yes.

Easy? Not so much.

It was remarkably difficult, at least for me, to resist bending at the hips and knees while falling backwards. Cognitively, we knew it was just hyper-chlorinated water we were falling into and that the worst outcome was, like, green hair. But there’s something pretty terrifying about leaning back and letting go…

As Eat This Productions shows us, sometimes the Nestea Plunge can be downright dangerous:

The Nestea Plunge campaign is evocative and memorable, so it’s no surprise that it’s still alive and well. Check out this awesome plunge into a gorgeous lake:

Taking the Nestea Plunge! (photo credit: Mark Griffith)
Photo credit: Mark Griffith

Here’s a modern commercial from the Philippines. You may not understand the language, but skip to the end – you’ll totally see what it’s all about.

Pure refreshment!

Now that summer’s heating up in earnest, an icy cold glass of sweet, lemony Nestea is sounding pretty darn good. Cheers, dudes, and enjoy taking the plunge!

Taking the Nestea Plunge! (photo credit: styggiti)
Photo credit: styggiti

Author: Pia Sooney

Just a little obsessed with all things 80s, Pia still has her Swatch, her cassette tape collection, and her Converse Chucks. When not making friendship pins or listening to Depeche Mode, she runs a web design business.

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