This week, Mountain Dew brings back Bob Ross, Twitter Marketing gets into bracketology, and shipping containers predict the future.
Redo The Joy of Painting (courtesy of Mountain Dew)
Mountain Dew is a loud brand. Yet the beverage giant recently took a turn on the calm side, creating a “lost” episode of the beloved PBS show The Joy of Painting.
Though the show’s host and painting instructor Bob Ross died in 1995, he’s remembered fondly by many who grew up with his quiet and encouraging approach to teaching art. His popularity surged in 2020 as people sought calming programs during the pandemic. So, Mountain Dew decided 2021 was the year to harken back to Bob in a posthumous tribute.
The beverage brand and agency TBWA/Chiat/Day worked with the Bob Ross Company to create the new 40-minute episode. The instructions in the episode lead viewers-turned-artists to create one of his iconic scenic snowy woods paintings (in this case featuring a bottle of Mountain Dew). Here’s the 15-second commercial for the episode:
Instead of editing an old episode of The Joy of Painting, Mountain Dew and its agency partner created a new, original episode using a body double, voice actor, and much more. (Read about how they did it in this article from The Drum.)
The Mountain Dew website provides a materials list so viewers can gather everything they need before they start the full episode.
WHY IT MATTERS: It seems like an odd pairing – a brash, youthful beverage brand and a PBS painting show that last aired original episodes 26 years ago. But it works because of Bob Ross’ (posthumous) status as a pop icon – and because Mountain Dew went for authenticity, tapping into the calm earnestness that made the artist-turn-host so popular.
Calming, authentic, and earnest aren’t adjectives most people use to describe the Mountain Dew brand. That’s why we like the anomaly of this partnership. It’s fun – and fun is in keeping with the Mountain Dew brand. And it surprises the audience – Bob Ross is not someone you expect to “do the Dew.”
HOW WE HEARD ABOUT IT: CMI’s Kim Moutsos saw The Drum article. Anything involving Bob Ross grabs our attention (in part because CMI Creative Director, Joseph “JK” Kalinowski, is such a fan).
Twitter doesn’t bust brand brackets
The NCAA basketball tournament may be king of the brackets, but brands have gotten in the game too.
Twitter Marketing jumped into the bracketology action with its #BestOfTweets brand bracket.
🏆 The Sports Twitter matchups are heating up in our #BestOfTweets Brand Bracket.
— Twitter Marketing (@TwitterMktg) March 22, 2021
The “competitors” are getting involved, too. In this tweet, Oreo humbly responded to its victory over Skittles (60% to 40%):
That’s a wrap on the #BestOfTweets bracket (and our tweetstorm to get votes 😅) Thank you OREO fans for all the love! @Skittles put up a good fight so let’s all share the love and congratulate them on the win! 🌈
— OREO Cookie (@Oreo) March 17, 2021
WHY IT MATTERS: Twitter Marketing smartly found a relevant twist on a big trending topic this month. Customized matches give its community an opportunity to interact with the account and each other (Check out the feed to see how passionate some voters feel about their choices.)
HOW WE HEARD ABOUT IT: We’re on Twitter and we’re marketers.
Cargo ships can tell the future
How do you know if business is looking up or down? Christopher S. Penn, co-founder of Trust Insights, checks the Baltic Dry Index.
“This is the aggregated cost of container space on a cargo ship and is a reasonably reliable measure of B2B health,” Chris wrote recently of his surprising business predictor.
“Why? It’s not speculative – you don’t buy space on a cargo ship for fun. You buy it when you have goods and services to move from point A to point B in bulk. When companies are buying and shipping goods, you know they’ve got business to do. It is overweight on home construction (which is a massive consumer of overseas goods like lumber), but in general, it’s a decent barometer of what’s happening.”
WHY IT MATTERS: Content marketers must think about the business if they want a seat at the executive table. The better you understand sales predictors – and can talk about and react to them accordingly – the more valuable you’ll be to the sales team and executives. And with that increased respect, you may not have to defend or explain content marketing as much as you do now. (You also may get more support for your content marketing budget requests.)
HOW WE HEARD ABOUT IT: Christopher Penn shared his method on the CMI #CMWorld Slack channel.
Marketers who want a seat at the executive table better understand sales predictors. @cspenn suggests a surprising indicator of #B2B business health via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #Examples Click To Tweet
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute