When it comes to making television commercials for his sponsors, Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows how to have fun.
He’s at it again in a new one released Friday, promoting “Mtn Dew Dew-S-A,” a new flavor of the popular Mountain Dew soft drink available now by special order that largely was inspired by NASCAR fans interacting with Earnhardt and Mountain Dew representatives via social media.
“The product is basically inspired by the fans of Mountain Dew. They’re called ‘Dew Nation,’ “ Earnhardt told FOX Sports in an exclusive interview. “Over the years they’ve been sharing awesome mixing experiences on social media and so forth with folks at Mountain Dew, taking their favorite flavors like Code Red, White Out and Voltage and doing all kinds of crazy stuff, mixing flavors.
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“So this is Mountain Dew’s way of creating an actual product that folks will really enjoy. It’s kind of centered around summer atmosphere, whether you’re in at the track or the beach or a barbecue or whatever. It’s just kind of a way to get people excited about Mountain Dew and summertime and everything that’s American.”
Earnhardt — who drives the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet owned by Rick Hendrick that is sponsored by Pepisco, the company that produces Mountain Dew — said he had a blast making the commercial, as usual.
“I’ve been working with them, actually, ever since I’ve been driving for Rick,” Earnhardt said. “Pepisco has been a partner with Rick for a really long time, ever since when Jeff Gordon was driving before I got there. They were a big, big partner that kick-started our program back in 2008 when we joined up at Hendrick Motorsports, and they’ve been a partner of mine ever since.
“We’ve been driving AMP and Mountain Dew cars throughout the years, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
This particular ad pumping up “Mtn Dew Dew-S-A” was no different in that regard.
“This commercial that we made was a pretty big production,” Earnhardt said. “We actually made the infomercial over at Hammerhead Entertainment, which is our video production company. It’s a pretty elaborate setup and it was fun to make. I’m looking forward to the fans seeing it. I’m sure they’re going to have a good time with it.”
If they do, they will be following the lead of NASCAR’s most popular driver, as voted on by the fans 14 consecutive years. He explained why he’s had such a great time shooting this particular sponsor’s television spots.
“When we partnered with Pepsico and AMP way back in 2008, they took me out to L.A. and shot a couple different commercials,” he said. “One was with the camel, where I’m carrying the camel across the desert – which was hilarious. I had a lot of fun making that commercial. Then we made the one with a gorilla, where he was attacking me in every corner.
“It was just really outside-the-box stuff. A lot of partners, it’s kind of hard to get creative and get outside of using the race car. You end up using the same types of props all the time and centering it around the racing world. Well, Mountain Dew has always been great about sort of taking us outside of that – putting me in scenarios that are every day instead of just at the racetrack, where it’s like, ‘This is Dale, and he lives at the track every day.’ Well, that’s not true.
“They really are a lot of fun because they get creative and I get to do a lot of different stuff. I’m not in the driver’s suit all the time, I’m not talking about race cars or always standing next to a race car, talking. We get to do a lot of fun things. This was no different.”