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.
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...