Mountain Dew Tries to Get a Little Classier With the Launch of Its Black Label Beverage

Meet the 'Gentlemen of the Jacket'

Let's get refined, sugar!

PepsiCo introduces Mtn Dew Black Label, a dark-berry beverage (with herbal bitters, no less), in a campaign from VaynerMedia that revolves around several "Gentlemen of the Jacket" who class up their respective acts. 

Professional skateboarder Theo Beasley gets things rolling in the centerpiece video below, appearing with two other millennial dudes—a mixologist and a gamer (both portrayed by actors). While enjoying some product, all three don magical jackets that make everything around them seem a bit more … sophisticated. 

The gamer steals it with that James Brown jacket move. Now that's some class action!

The creative team strove to tell "a broader, connected story," even though the leads are never on screen at the same time, Sadira Furlow, Mountain Dew's marketing director, tells AdFreak. "The transitions from scene to scene consisted of one long continuous take to ensure each of the three environments were tied together seamlessly. The set was built to adhere to this flow," she says. 

Fifteen-second versions of the gamer and skateboard portions of the ad will run as hyper-targeted pre-rolls, while the full-length clip is being promoted across Mountain Dew's social platforms.

"One of the funniest things to film was the skateboard with the can on it," Furlow says. "Believe it or not, it is incredibly difficult to get a can to sit on a mini-throne on a skateboard and move up and down a ramped surface at full speed. We even had a skateboard/can handler responsible for pulling it along." 

It's a great-looking ad. And as with most Mountain Dew campaigns, it's well attuned to its youthful bro-centric audience.

Still, there's some disconnect here. Why employ a jacket at all? The idea is never really explained or explored. Also, why would rebel types like skateboarders and gamers care about acting all sophisticated anyway? 

Ah well, any concept is bound to seem sha-aaa-ky when you're slammin' back sixes of uber-caffeinated soda. (And don't forget those herbal bitters!)

Client: Mountain Dew
Agency: VaynerMedia
Chief Creative Officer: Steve Babcock
Vice President, Group Creative Director: David Rosenberg
Creative Director: Anthony Coleman
Associate Creative Director: Angelo Pournaras
Art Directors: Cindy Choi, Heather Han
Senior Copywriters: Joshua Rosenblat, Nick Maciag
Designers: Raymond Croft, Christian Powell
Senior Vice President, Account Strategy: Dennis Ossipov-Grodsky
Group Director: Roger Ramirez
Account Director: Sara Giles
Account Manager: Neelam Rana
Vice President, Delivery and Production: Aaron Behr
Associate Director, Delivery and Production: Kristen Fleming
Project Managers: Dominic Hackley, Meredith Feir

Production Company: Vayner Productions
Creative Director: Jason Beauregard
Director of Photography: Erik Dettle
Post Production Supervisor: Andrew Hart
Post Production Coordinator: Glo Gambino
Editor: Sean Henderson
Animators: Alexander Smith, Sydney Daugherty
Producer: John Hollingsworth

Mix Company: Nutmeg
Music by "The Emergence" TE Music Group 

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@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.