There is more to Mountain Dew then just a plethora of flavors, lots of sugar and caffeine. The world famous energy drink is a brand. No, more than that it’s a lifestyle. With it’s clever advertising campaigns, sports tie-ins, exotic flavors and customer participation, Mountain Dew leads the way in innovative branding. No longer is Mountain Dew just a drink, it’s an entire way of being. With that in mind, here are 10 Mountain Dew Facts That Will Energize You.
10. Willy the Hillbilly
Yahoo Mountain Dew! “It will tickle yore innards, with a bang in every bottle.” That was Mountain Dew’s first slogan and the first commercial that had the character named ‘Willy the Hillbilly’ singing the praises of the soft drink. Mountain Dew original formula was invented in 1940’s as a mixer for whiskey by Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman. As a tongue and cheek joke, they named it Mountain Dew which was Scottish/Irish slang for Highland Scotch Whiskey but also slang for Moonshine in the south. The soft drink was then trademarked in 1948 and the bragging started that not only did it go well with Bourbon but it went well with moonshine too. So, it was befitting that their logo and main character would be a Hillbilly. Early bottles, labels and signage for advertising and commercials had the cartoon-stylized hillbilly as its mascot. It actually started as a joke as the Hartman’s did not believe their drink would become so popular, so they had their high school friend John Brichetto design the first sketches of the original Mountain Dew bottles. In the 70’s, once purchased by PepsiCo, they dropped Willy the Hillbilly and they switched their marketing campaign to “Get That Barefoot Feeling.” This new campaign was geared more towards urban teenagers. Over the decades, Mountain Dew’s product packaging has changed multiple times, so has the logo, but we’ll never forget Willy; the original mascot and we can relive those commercials on YouTube.
9. Mountain Dew AMP-ed
If Mountain Dew AMP Energy drinks won’t keep you energized then nothing will. Amp Energy started out in 2001 as an offshoot and variant to Mountain Dew products. It was distributed under the Mountain Dew brand until 2008 as “Mountain Dew AMP. Since 2009, AMP is manufactured by Rockstar, which is also owned by PepsiCo, Mountain Dew’s parent company. It is now produced and labeled under its own name and sold in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Lebanon. It is the fourth best-selling energy drink brand in the U.S. The original formula of Amp was marketed as just another flavor of the Mountain Dew line, however, the label was eventually changed with the Mountain Dew logo moving to the bottom of the can. By 2011, the logo was completely removed from the can, to obliterate its existence. However, this has since come round full circle as they’ve added the Mountain Dew logo back onto the cans. The original Amp Energy drinks contained, taurine, B-Vitamins, guarana, ginseng, maltodextrin and 74 milligrams of caffeine, that’s enough to energize us all day. Although it is not part of the line up any longer, it’s roots lie with The Mountain Dew company and it is unforgettable. It just goes to show how innovative at Mountain Dew are as some of their offshoots actually get to shine on their own like Rockstar’s.
8. Branding Genius
In order for the customers to feel more involved with their beloved Mountain Dew, PepsiCo came up with two big marketing campaigns; Dewmocracy 1 and Dewmorcracy 2. The names alone are enough to get us excited for a revolution. These two campaigns ran from 2007-2009 where Mountain Dew fans were given the chance to have quite a big input on the company’s choices on product flavors and even advertising. The first Dewmorcracy kick-started with a website that had a short promotional film explaining the campaign as well as a role-playing game. The short film had movie star Forrest Whitaker searching for a new and mysterious drink. This tied in with the role-playing game which had mini-games and each game had the chance for people to choose flavors, logos, and designs for the new drink. In the end, the public chose cool names like; Revolution, Voltage and Supernova. Dewmocracy 2 amped up the stakes as it started with a US tour. 17 cities were given the chance to taste the potential new flavors then Mountain Dew encouraged us to join a community to vote for the next flavor and really utilized the social media aspect of their company, even more than the first campaign. The winners this time were Distortion, Typhoon and White Out.
7. Use Of Tartrazine
This may not energize you in the way sugar will, but the urban legend is an interesting one and will have your mind energized for a while or at least really thinking about it. One of the ingredients in Mountain Dew is a dye called Yellow #5, better known as tartrazine. Tartrazine is an organic sodium salt which derives from tartrazine acid. A synthetic lemon-yellow dye used as a food coloring and what gives Mountain Dew its fluorescent color. It is also found in almost all processed foods. It is a cheap substitution to Beta Carotene, which is too expensive to use in inexpensive snack foods. This dye is everywhere, like Doritos, cereals, shampoo’s, cosmetics and even popcorn. They say that Tartrazine lowers sperm count, so while you are drinking cases of Mountain Dew you may actually be throwing your future of being a dad into the garbage. However, before we all start getting too upset and vow never to drink Mountain Dew again, this is just an urban legend as Tartrazine has never actually been scientifically linked or proven to reduce sperm count. Although, some studies show that it can possibly be carcinogenic, like many things, and studies show that among children with and without ADHD, Tartrazine can increase symptoms. It can also cause severe headaches, allergic reactions and even promote asthma in a small number of individuals, especially those who also have a sensitivity to certain chemicals.
6. Game Fuel For Gamers
In 2007, Mountain Dew started using the term “Game Fuel” to market their sodas to the video-gaming subculture. Shortly afterwards, with a straight to the point marketing campaign directed at this specific market, it became the drink of choice for gamers, skaters and just about any kids who wanted to get that extra energy kick. The drinks soon became the ‘go to’ drink and an extension of that culture. Mountain Dew Game Fuel had cool labels that sported images and promotional artwork for the games they were promoting at the time, which made lot of us out there loved it and flock to our nearest store. Every two to three years Mountain Dew hooks up with the next new game release, to create another new flavored drink and promotional material. It starts a frenzy and a run to the stores so fans can sample their new wild flavors. At the end of 2018, Mountain Dew unveiled a new Game Fuel drink that is more of an energy drink specifically formulated for video gamers. It is different than the original Game Fuel, which was simply soda and caffeine. The updated version has not only caffeine but extra ingredients such as L-theanine, ginseng, yerba mate, vitamin A, an assortment of B vitamins, and contains only 5% juice. Everyone knows that Mountain Dew AMP GAME FUEL is specially designed to give gamers that special high, endurance and boost they need during game playing. The combination of ingredients has shown to increase accuracy and alertness. All flavors contain 90 calories and 90mg of caffeine per 16 oz. more to keep you energized than any the regular soda.
5. Loaded With Ginseng
Ginseng is one of the main ingredient in many Mountain Dew drinks, especially the energy ones like AMP and Voltage. So if you are feeling a little under the weather and need that extra zing of energy, Mountain Dew is for you. These days most energy drinks contain small trace amounts of ginseng that are not really harmful, except in extremely large doses. For those who do not know, ginseng is a root that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Research shows that ginseng really does not have any magical healing properties when it comes to illness but it does seem to have an effect on memory, fatigue, menopause, and insulin response. Ginseng contains ginsenosides and gintonin; one is like sugar steroids and the other like a lipid receptor. They help alleviates cognitive functions in elderly people and can make you function better. Ginseng has gotten itself a bad reputation over the years and that’s mainly because it’s was marketed as a dietary supplement. The Ginseng itself wasn’t the problem, it was concerns over the product containing toxic metals and fillers that were being added to the Ginseng that was the issue. By itself, Ginseng has a pretty good safety profile and lot of people still sing the praises of this root and use it in everyday life. As long as it isn’t over used, Ginseng is a welcome bit of pep and zing to add to our Mountain Dew.
4. The Inevitable Caffeine
We know, this one is obvious. But given all of our obsessions with caffeine, we thought we should give it a mention. In a recent report it is estimated that 450 billion cups of coffee or tea are consumed yearly worldwide. That’s an incredible amount of caffeine, and that doesn’t even account for carbonated caffeine beverages or food either. In the US alone, 450 million cups of coffee are consumed daily, which could make for a lot of hyper people or walking zombies. Caffeine is a stimulant that effects the central nervous system and it is by far the world’s largest legal psychoactive drug. It helps prevent drowsiness and regulates certain body functions. A can of Green Mountain Dew elixir contains 55 milligrams of caffeine in a 12 fl. oz drink, which is not too bad, especially compared to other drinks of a similar nature; such as Red Bull at 80 mg per drink. But if we compare those to a 20 oz Venti Starbucks coffee which clocks at 237mg for 12 fl.oz, then we’ll all feel better about chugging our Mountain Dew. The caffeine and sugar content will have you energized for an hour or so, till you can get your next fix. If you really do not want the caffeine because it gives you the jitter, there is always Diet Mountain Dew which is caffeine-free and the Canadian Pitch Black had one for a limited time as well. In Australia, regular Mountain Dew used to use the same formula as Diet Mountain Dew because of the caffeine restrictions.
3. The Green Label Equals Art
Fans of the art world can regale in this as it is right up their alley in terms of creativity and coolness. Mountain Dew’s Green Label promotions, which began in 2007, was a project that put artwork featured by different local tattoo artists on a series of limited edition aluminum bottles. The initial bottles were the first to coin the phrase”Green Label Art” to describe the use of artistic works on Mountain Dew packaging. In true Mountain Dew fashion back in 2010, a contest began by the same title in conjunction with 35 independent skateboard store owners who partnered with local artists to design and submit future artwork designs. The winner had their art figure printed on the Mountain Dew bottles the following year. They have become Collector’s Edition at this point, but it would be fun to come across one for keeps. The following year they also sponsored a music label, under Green Label sound, promoting the music industry with new hip hop artists. Action Sports has also always been a part of Mountain Dew marketing since the 90’s. It has also sponsored its own festivals like the Dew Tour, which was made up of five US city tours over the course of a year; highlighting sports such as skateboarding, BMX, Motocross, snowboarding and skiing. In coordination with its Dew Tour sponsorship, a television show under the banner of the Mountain Dew’s Green Label Experience premiered on Fuel TV just for broadcasting interviews with action sports athletes from each of the stops on the Dew Tour. Can’t get any cooler than this.
2. The Quest Will Get You Going
Over the years Mountain Dew has been in a constant state of transformation, innovation and change. They have partnered with other brands looking for the next best thing to increase sales. There has been a plethora of campaigns and ads with many other labels in conjunction to promote their products, almost innumerable to count. Their partnerships are not limited to one specific brand, instead it ties itself to some mainstream formulas, like sports, movies and fast foods. It’s all about the flavor du jour so to speak. Sports remain one of their biggest strengths, catering to that specific market with ads like the Puppy Monkey Baby at Superbowl 50. Some other exciting and mysterious campaigns in 2008 were when they teamed up with Doritos and created the “The Doritos Quest, a mystery flavor known as “Quest”, which turned out to be Mountain Dew. In 2012 they teamed up with Warner Bros. for the release of The Dark Night Rises. Where fans were able to access content and details of the film on a website before its release date. They also featured packaging to promote the movie, with color changing thermochromic cans and a new Dark Berry Flavor. Other movies associated with Mountain Dew were Back to the Future, Antz, Fantastic Four, Transformers and Zombieland. Mountain Dew even did a special for season 8 of Game of Thrones, which they created a new can that is completely blank dubbed “The can with no Name” and a plain white can with no labeling when warm, but when chilled the names on Arya Stark’s kill list appear. Another prime example of how their marketing department works to reinforce its brand.
1. Mountain Dew – Sweet Lighting
Never ending and determined, Mountain Dew are relentless with their thirst for flavor combinations and their need to bring us the perfect drink. Earlier this year it was leaked that Mountain Dew had partnered with KFC for a brand new flavor. As of July 1, their new flavored soda called “Sweet Lightning,” was available exclusively at KFC restaurants nationwide. The drink flavoring contains a punch of peach and a touch of honey flavors. It will no doubt brighten up each and every one of its customers taste buds and have them coming back. They will also be bringing back the old southern charm minus the hillbilly, with their world-famous fried chicken and Mountain Dew Sweet Lightning. A new pitchman will be introduced by the name of Sweet; a Southern and yellow-suit wearing gentleman who is “smooth and lightning-fast” Let’s hope it becomes a mainstay.