Mtn Dew's appetite for nostalgia seems to know no bounds at the moment. Last week saw the PepsiCo brand drop an ad for Mtn Dew Zero Sugar recreating Gizmo from "Gremlins"; and now, it's "bringing back" iconic TV painter Bob Ross for its latest campaign.
Ross, known for his gentle persona and "happy" landscape paintings, died in 1995, but as well as being beloved to '80s kids he's also a familiar face to today's younger set thanks to streaming (his show "The Joy of Painting" is currently airing on Amazon Prime Video).
Mtn Dew and agency TBWA/Chiat/Day New York worked with the Bob Ross Foundation on a 15-second spot, which shows Ross adding some "happy little droplets" to a landscape painting that includes a bottle of Mtn Dew. He says, "sometimes in life you get a little thirsty, and when a refreshing opportunity comes along, you can just...." at which point he reaches into the painting and takes the bottle to have a drink. "Shoot, that's good," he adds.
According to a Mtn Dew spokesman, Ross was recreated via CGI with an actor whose body structure and demeanor resembled his, and used prosthetics and a wig. Then, CGI and face-mapping was then used for mouth replacement and augmentation of the face of the body double to match that of Ross. And a real painter, certified by the Bob Ross Foundation, did all the painting. The Mill worked on VFX.
The spot teases a "full episode" of "Paint With Bob" that will be airing on YouTube on March. 6 at 12PM EST, where it seems the resurrected Ross may be schooling viewers on how to make the Dew painting. The wider campaign, breaking in March, appears to involve to involve a paint giveaway and charity auction.