1999 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Downhill Jam. Make your way down the hill off the kicker and into the half pipe, then off another kicker and onto the- pause here, Mountain Dew billboard. This was the first time Mountain Dew intentionally spoke to the video game consumer base. Flash forward to today, Mountain Dew directly targets gamers. So much so that the combination has become an Internet meme. It sits atop the Internet food pyramid. But unbeknownst to Game Fuel fans, is that the Internet’s favorite drink, was originally designed to dilute whiskey. So, how exactly did Mountain Dew begin as something so hyper specific and evolve into something completely different? In the early 1930s, Brothers Barney and Ally Hartman were working at an Orange Crush bottling plant in Augusta Georgia. At the end of the day, the brothers would indulge in a glass of their favorite beverage, Old Taylor bourbon, mixed with the lemon-lime soda called Natural Set-Up. But in 1932, the Great Depression arrived in Augusta Georgia and the bottling plant was shut down. The brothers moved to another Orange Crush plant, Knoxville Tennessee. To their dismay, they couldn’t find the whiskey mixing soda anywhere. So, in the Knoxville plant, they made their own. By the early 1940s, they perfected their drink; a caffeinated, lithiated lemon-lime soda, that they named Personal Setup. But among themselves, the brothers called it something very different; Mountain Dew, slang for mountain brewed Tennessee moonshine. In 1948, they received a copyright on the Mountain Dew name. The label on their first bottle featured a gun-toting hillbilly yelling, “It’ll tickle yore innards!” Mountain Dew clearly embraced its prohibition era wild roots. When Pepsi bought Mountain Dew in 1964, executives feared the hillbilly mascot was limiting. So, in order to reach a broader audience, they dropped the hillbilly and introduced a new campaign. But as far as consumers were concerned, Mountain Dew was just another lemon-lime soda. The company experimented with several slogans like, put a Little Yahoo in Your Life, but none quite caught on like its mid ’70s line, Hello sunshine, Hello Mountain Dew. A direct appeal to young bohemians and it worked. In 1979, Mountain Dew sold over 137 million cases and was the fastest growing soft drink in America. By the early ’90s, Mountain Dew was again losing its popularity. It tried launching brands like sugar free and diet dew for more health conscious consumer. You guys get a lot older now. Yeah boy. You’re even drinking diet Mountain Dew. So what? So what? It has the same great mountain dew taste. But the young consumer who popularized the soda, didn’t seem to care about their diets. They were rebellious and defiant. A generation of slackers and the children of baby boomers who wanted MTV, grunge, hip hop and skateboard. In 1995, Mountain Dew sponsored the first X Games. The neon green, caffeine loaded, sugary soda was the perfect fit. At around the same time, a very different consumer base was growing and for practical reasons. In the mid ’90s, Mountain Dew had the most caffeine of any soft drink, 55 milligrams per can who needed this much caffeine? Programmers, developers and Internet enthusiasts began drinking the dew to help them maintain focus through coding, programming problems and yes video games. But it wasn’t until 2005 that Mountain Dew exclusively targeted video Gamers. This is the Mountain Dew limited edition Xbox. Five thousand of them were given away to loyal Mountain Dew drinkers who collected enough caps next Mountain Dew began its game fuel promotion. Each new flavor coincided with the release of a new video game. In 2007, it was Halo 3. 2009, it was World of Warcraft. In 2011 it was Call of Duty and in 2012 it was Halo 4. Late night gamers were naturally choosing Mountain Dew for the energy. And although coffee and energy drinks have more caffeine, Mountain Dew is marketing itself to be the only fitting option. Mountain Dew is everywhere in video game culture. But its strategy is nothing new, find what young people are into and dive headfirst. In the ’70s, it was bohemian subcultures. In the ’90s, it was extreme sports and for the better part of the 21st century, it’s been video games. Whether the placement is natural or a little bit more blatant. You know you buy Mountain Dew or you buy Doritos, you actually get a code then you go to the website like do XP or Doritos XP.com. You enter that code and link it to your game or tag and you actually get experience in the game. Mountain Dew has secured its place in the gaming world. In the coming years, EA Sports will become a multi-billion dollar industry and you can expect Mountain Dew to follow. Hey guys, thanks for watching this video. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to like and subscribe and also hit that bell to get notified whenever we post a new video.