Mountain Dew Is Launching a New ‘Throwback’ Soda Inspired by Its Tennessee Roots

Old-school packaging brings back Willy the Hillbilly

Headshot of Kristina Monllos

Mountain Dew mascot Willy the Hillbilly is making another comeback with DewShine, the brand's new soda.

To introduce the citrus-flavored beverage, which is made with real sugar and comes in clear glass bottles—the brand is calling it a "throwback"— the company is leaning on its Tennessee roots.

"This is kind of an homage to the Tennessee rebels who first developed Mountain Dew," said Greg Lyons, vp of marketing for Mountain Dew. "[We] have a really rich brand heritage—it was created about 75 years ago in 1940 in the backwoods of Tennessee—and it was because of this [heritage] that we were inspired to create Mountain Dew DewShine."

Created in Tennessee in the early 1940s, Mountain Dew's name was used as a euphemism for the illicitly created alcohol of the time, Moonshine. But while Mountain Dew is returning to its roots to an extent, the brand isn't producing an alcoholic beverage. According to Lyons, the only thing that DewShine and moonshine have in common is the "shine" being part of the name.

The beverage giant has been rolling out the new product slowly, and it should be available nationwide in the next few weeks.

To introduce DewShine, Mountain Dew has been conducting a sampling tour of the soda up the Dixie Highway, which will end in Bristol, Tenn., at Nascar's Bristol Motor Speedway race on April 19 and featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

Earnhardt's car will be decorated with DewShine branding, and the company plans to create content with the racer for DewShine. Mountain Dew has also tapped the country music group Florida Georgia Line for DewShine promotions. 

According to Lyons, Mountain Dew hopes to grow DewShine over the next year and believes that its target audience—millennial males—will appreciate "authentic" messaging. 

Check out the new spot, created by Motive and titled "Rebel Spirit," below:



Agency: MOTIVE

Executive Creative Director: Matt Statman

Creative Director: Chris Reinhard

Creative Director: Spence Trierweiler

Design Director: Andy Geppelt

Senior Integrated Producer: Nicole Schofield

Account Director: Hillary Miller

Production Company: HSI Productions

Director: Samuel Bayer

Executive Producer: Rebecca Skinner

Head of Sales: Michelle Ross

Line Producer: William Green

Director of Photography: Samuel Bayer

Post Production:

Editorial Company: Spotwelders

Editor: Michael Heldman

Post Producer: Amanda Slamin

Color: Company3

Colorist: Beau Leon

Finishing / VFX: Quietman

Original Music: Human

Composers: Gareth Williams, James Dean Wells & Dean Baltulonis

Audio Post Production: Sonic Union

Mixer: Michael Marinelli

Mountain Dew

Vice President: Greg Lyons

Senior Manager: Rosemarie Iannucci

Assistant Manager: Sue Christine

Executive Producer: Barry Rosen

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.