Fact Check: Facebook posts – Is Monster Energy's logo a reference to the anti-Christ? No

Fact Check: Facebook posts – Is Monster Energy's logo a reference to the anti-Christ? No

Did Monster Energy make a deal with the devil when it arrived at its brand packaging? A woman claimed to show proof that it did.

A video reposted to Facebook on March 8 shows a woman illustrating why she believes that Monster Energy product packaging represents the anti-Christ. Picking up a can of the energy drink, she tells someone off-camera, “Look at your ‘M’ closely. There’s a gap right here in the letter ‘M.’ It’s never connected. So you go into Hebrew,” she said, picking up a poster board with the Hebrew alphabet on it. “The letter Vav is also the number six.”

“Vav” looks similar to the individual lines in the M on the can, she said. 

“Here’s the message: anti-Christ. 666 in Hebrew,” she said. She also drew ties to the company’s motto, “Unleash the Beast,” and the biblical mark of the beast.

“Bottoms up, and the devil laughs,” she said.

This was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

The claim gets several things wrong, including an understanding of Hebrew.

The true Hebrew translation for the number of the beast, 666, is not “Vav” repeated three times, said Rabbi Philip Weintraub of Congregation B’nai Israel in St. Petersburg, Florida. Rather, it is “Tav Resh Samech Vav.” These letters together do not resemble the “M” on the can.

“One letter is ‘Vav’, three letters is meaningless,” Weintraub said. 

This Facebook video first went viral in 2014, when it received millions of views on YouTube. It has resurfaced periodically, often around Halloween. The Washington Post in 2018 identified the speaker in the video as Christine Weick, a Christian activist and author of a book on the Bible’s New Testament book of Revelation.

 PolitiFact reached out to Monster with a request for comment about the claim, but didn’t hear back from its marketing department. In 2018, Monster Energy spokesman Mike Sitrick told the Washington Post that the claim is wrong.

“This fabricated ‘devil theory’ is delusional, fanatical or simply trying to besmirch the good name and reputation of a successful company and brand,” Sitrick said at the time.

McLean Design, the agency behind the Monster’s logo and marketing campaign, wrote on its website that it was approached by Hansen Beverage Co. in 2001 to rebrand an energy drink to more forcefully compete with Red Bull.

The “M” design — which, with its jagged edges, resembles tears that might be left from an animal’s claws — emerged out of an effort to “create a new aggressive brand for an untapped aggressive consumer,” McLean wrote. “Simple, powerful, iconic, all attitude and impact, capable of carving real share out of Red Bull’s 75%.”

Studying the energy drink market, the company found the consumer was less influenced by words like “natural,” a hallmark of Hansen’s beverages to that point, and sought instead to be “a rule-breaking, risk taking, renegade outlaw.”

“This consumer, we learned, was a hell-bent-for-leather, party all night, rude, lewd and tattooed, land-luging manic,” McLean wrote. The resulting marketing strategy aimed to “intentionally create a brand that is sufficiently devoid of meaning in order to be filled with significance by its early adopters.”

Nothing in this marketing plan mentions an aim to reference the anti-Christ or any satanic imagery.

Aditya Shastri, a digital marketing expert at the Indian Institute of Digital Education, described Monster’s target demographic as “18­-34-year-old males and females who are interested in active life, sports, gaming, motorbikes, and motorcars.”

“Therefore,” Shastri wrote in a 2022 case study of Monster’s marketing, “the targeting strategy of Monster is associated with manly-centred marketing which orients professional and amateur athletes, musicians, and bikers among others.”

Most of Monster’s marketing on its social media sites show athletic imagery — Grand Prix motorcycle racing, skateboarding, snowsports, surfing, mixed martial arts and more. What we don’t see? References to the anti-Christ. 

 We rate this claim Pants on Fire! 

PolitiFact researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. 

Source: PolitiFact.

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