Mtn Dew resurrected beloved TV painter Bob Ross, who died in 1995, in a campaign that allowed viewers to paint along to a “lost episode.” The work tapped into an audience needing a pandemic escape at a time when Ross’ show was enjoying a newfound popularity thanks to streaming.
Mtn Dew resurrected TV painter Bob Ross for a ‘lost episode’
The project, by agency TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, used facial mapping technology to recreate Ross, together with an actor whose body structure and demeanor resembled his. Ahead of the full episode running on YouTube, a teaser showed Ross adding some "happy little droplets" to a landscape painting that included a bottle of Mtn. Dew, then reaching into the painting to take a drink.
More than 70,000 people tuned in to watch the full episode on YouTube and paint along. Mtn Dew also auctioned off the painting from the commercial for $1,600, donating the proceeds to the Bob Ross exhibit at the Minnetrista Museum in Muncie, Indiana, where his studio was located.