The first advertising campaign created for Mountain Dew under Pepsi-Cola management was
“Mountain Dew – It’ll Tickle You’re Innards.” The company decided to embrace the hillbilly-moonshine image behind the name for the first few years. The advertising consisted of cartoon hillbilly characters promoting the drink. The characters included Gran Pappy and all his kinfolk, who were very enthusiastic drinkers of Mountain Dew.
By 1965, 92% of all American households had a television, causing companies to start focusing their efforts towards creating ads for television. Jumping on this bandwagon, Mountain Dew brought in animation to create the hillbilly theme for their television advertisements. The commercials that included Gran Pappy and his crew were produced in both black and white and in color, so that no matter what television you owned the commercial was still visually appealing.
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“Hillbilly Days” was also introduced during this time and became one of Mountain Dew’s most popular promotions. Bottlers had their sales people dress up in hillbilly style costumes at Mountain Dew sampling events.
In early 1968, Mountain Dew contemplated about what direction their advertising was headed. They had the option to either stick with the existing hillbilly theme or to create a new theme altogether. It was finally decided that, in order to appeal to more demographic groups, they should create a new advertising theme.
The new campaign that emerged was “Get That Barefoot Feeling – Mountain Dew.” The television commercial included a song called San Francisco Bay Blues, but with different lyrics. They belief was that the song would help portray a folk-rock, country-western image. The commercial consisted of a group of men sitting in a corporate boardroom. The camera then panned below the conference table to show that all the men were barefoot. While entertaining, the commercial did not quite reach their intended audience. Mountain Dew soon realized that the change from the hillbilly theme was a step in the right direction, but there was still more to be done. Mountain Dew was still on the hunt to find a hit advertising campaign…
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