When the marketing team at PepsiCo were considering an approach for a soft relaunch of their newest Mountain Dew flavor, Major Melon, for National Watermelon Day this summer, they were hoping to find something different and catchy to grab people’s attention.
What they ended up using was a new jingle and video from banjo-pickin’ TikTok sensation, Spencer Hatcher and his brother, Conner. If you spend any time on social media, you may have seen one of their videos with the Hatcher boys playing banjo and bass by their old red farm truck, singing good ol’ bluegrass songs.
Spencer has become a very popular TikToker, with more than half a million followers, seeing some of his videos receive view counts in the multi-millions. When we interviewed him back in April, he told us that while he is a serious musician, with a business degree and bluegrass minor from ETSU, he plays a character on the socials that he created just for fun. And it has really caught on.
This past Tuesday, August 3, was National Watermelon Day, and Mountain Dew started running the videos Spencer created for them on Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, and TikTok. They were professionally recorded and shot, but retain the down home vibe that fans of the Hatchers have come to expect.
Here’s a look at the version running on Facebook, which has more than 25,000 views in just three days.
Spencer tells us he had been targeting Mountain Dew for a few months, hoping to interest them in using a video of he and Conner singing the mountain music classic, Good Old Mountain Dew.
“I had been tagging some of my videos with the official Mountain Dew link. We shot one back in February singing Mountain Dew while there was still snow on the ground, but wearing our cutoff jean shorts. Man it was cold. That was the one that got their attention. But we had to write a new jingle since the original song is still in copyright for three more years.
We first teamed up a few months ago, and I’ve gotten to meet so many cool people. They sent a big time professional cameraman down here to shoot it who had done videos with Carrie Underwood and Marilyn Manson. He was here on my farm in Virginia, and he said that he volunteered to do it.
He was a really cool guy, and told me, ‘Spencer, there’s not a lot TikTok videos that get sent to the president of PepsiCo, but yours did.'”
They had recorded the audio previously at a studio, and filmed these like a music video.
Spencer says that the people at Mountain Dew are overjoyed with the online reaction. The version on TikTok already has received more than 185,000 views.
“Everyone in the office loved it. They all did such a fantastic job. They tell me that this is the fastest selling new Mountain Dew flavor in more than a decade.
It was an amazing experience for me. The last person who did a commercial for Major Melon was John Cena in the Super Bowl.”
What he especially enjoyed, Hatcher told us, was being able to break the stereotype of the hayseed, hillbilly banjo player.
“They told me that they were really impressed with my business savvy and my understanding of marketing. I think they expected me to have a deep southern drawl and drop all my ‘g’s. You can be a farmer, and a rural person who plays bluegrass, without being some sort of fool.
What we do, though, is authentic to the core. I actually use that truck almost every day. Working the land and wearing cutoff jeans is reality for a lot of people.”
Here’s the video running on TikTok.
@spencerhatcher##ad Here’s a delicious ditty about Mtn Dew Major Melon 🍉 ##nationalwatermelonday ##foryou ##foryoupage ##mountaindew ##sponsored ##music @mountaindew♬ original sound – Spencer
Spencer says that he is unsure whether the videos will ever air on TV. Right now the focus is all social media.
But is is delighted to have had the experience.
“I’m getting to do some pretty exciting things. I’m just grateful and blessed to have these opportunities.
It’s amazing the people you meet through social media. I just heard from the grandson of the banjo player who was in a Mountain Dew commercial in the early ’70s!”
Amazing indeed. Well done, Spencer and Conner.