- PepsiCo's Mtn Dew soft drink brand announced the premiere of an episode of "The Joy of Painting," the enduringly popular instructional show hosted by the late landscape painter Bob Ross. The "lost episode" was created by using a body double wearing prosthetics and a wig, a painter certified by Ross' company and CGI and face-mapping technology, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
- The episode will premiere on YouTube on March 6, and will include a long-form tutorial on how to create a painting on a "Dew-inspired scenic canvas." During the premiere, YouTube viewers can use the site's chat platform to post messages. Mtn Dew is promoting the premiere with 15- and 30-second TV spots.
- To extend the reach of the campaign, Mtn Dew created limited-edition paint kits that will be given away by influencers on TikTok after the premiere. The brand also plans to host an online auction that will give people a chance to bid on Ross-inspired artwork from its TV commercials, and will donate proceeds from the auction to a nonprofit approved by The Bob Ross Company.
Mtn Dew's campaign for the premiere of a "new" episode of Bob Ross's "The Joy of Painting" comes as brands incorporate nostalgic themes in their advertising. The instructional show ran on public TV stations from 1982 to 1994, and has gained a following among a younger generation of homebound viewers who are looking for tips on how to spend the hours in isolation during the pandemic. The show has been praised as an antidote to the uncertainties of the health crisis, as Ross provides gentle instructions on how to complete an entire painting in 30 minutes while displaying a generally upbeat and caring approach to life.
The Mtn Dew campaign used a variety of technologies to recreate Bob Ross for the spot, which sees the late painter adding "happy little droplets" to a scenic canvas featuring a bottle of the beverage. Similarly, Michelob Ultra last year used deepfake technology to put Peyton Manning's face into scenes from the iconic film "Caddyshack" as part of a digital campaign, while ESPN partnered with State Farm to promote "The Last Dance" with an ad that used deepfake tech to repurpose a "SportsCenter" broadcast from 1998. Deepfake technology can help marketers tap into nostalgia by reworking old media into new ads, but comes with its own concerns with authenticity.
Mtn Dew's planned influencer campaign on TikTok to give away Bob Ross paint kits can help to deepen engagement between the brand and its biggest fans. Influencer campaigns have become more popular in recent years as brands seek to cut through ad clutter and reach younger consumers who tend to be heavy users of social media. Collaborations with influencers last year saw 57% more reach and impact last year compared with 2019, according to Klear's State of Influencer Marketing 2021 report. Generation Z contributed to a 9% lift in the production of influencer content with the #ad hashtag denoting a sponsored post, the study found.
Mtn Dew has been active with digital campaigns aimed at younger consumers, including the segment of gamers who enjoy caffeinated beverages to fuel their video game sessions. The brand in December partnered with pizza chain Papa John's to sponsor the "Power Up, Play On!" livestreamed video game contest between pro basketball player Jamal Murray and gaming celebrity Dr DisRespect. Amid its efforts to connect with gamers during the holiday season, its Mtn Dew Game Fuel brand opened an online store for direct-to-consumer sales of its full line of soft drinks aimed at video game fans. The online store has a loyalty program to urge repeat purchases by offering exclusive game content, discounts and limited-edition merchandise.