It was in the 1980’s when Pepsi-Cola Company officially became a part of NASCAR. In 1981, Mountain Dew sponsored a NASCAR vehicle owned by Junior Johnson and driven by Darrell Waltrip. As a team, they won many races with Mountain Dew graphics covering their number 11 car. The pit crew was even given a clever name, “Dew Crew.” In 1982, Mountain Dew produced a NASCAR themed commercial. The lyrics to the classic “Give Me a Dew” theme song used in other Mountain Dew ads also changed to incorporate the racing theme. Some of the new song lyrics were, “Give me a fast track and fans that are true, give me a hot car, give me a Dew.” Darrell Waltrip and his number 11 Mountain Dew car were also featured in the commercial.
Around this time, there was also an emerging desire for sugar-free drinks in the market. For that reason, Diet Mountain Dew was introduced in 1988. The first advertising campaign for Diet Mountain Dew was incorporated into the Mountain Dew “Country Cool” advertising program. At the end of “Country Cool” commercials, an image of the diet soda appeared and a voiceover announced: “Introducing the great taste of the new Diet Mountain Dew.”
Mountain Dew’s success kept growing and growing. By 1983 it had become the 8th largest selling soft drink in the United States. The industry was in shock at how effective the repositioning of the Mountain Dew brand was. Sales by 1992 reached 526 million gallons, making it the 6th best selling soft drink in the US.
Then in 1992, it was time again to recreate their advertising program. They began to question… What’s hot? What are the young people of America doing? What sports are popular? These questions would lead Mountain Dew to decide they would capture the spirit of adventure by attracting surfers, bikers, skydivers, essentially the fun-seekers of the generation! Their new slogan became “Get Vertical”, which showcased young daredevils defying gravity and doing everything from windsurfing to jumping out of air planes on mountain bikes. Extreme sports became mainstream in the 1990’s, and it was believed that extreme sports enthusiasts were exactly the type of people that drank Mountain Dew. The soft drink became the fuel any extreme sports addict. Almost all Mountain Dew commercials in the 90’s had a mix of humor and extreme sports, where fans would be anxious to watch what sport would be featured next!