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Mountain Dew creates U.P. bottles

Courtesy photo The label of Mountain Dew’s Upper Peninsula-themed bottles is shown.

ESCANABA — U.P. State Fair attendees lined up during the first few days of the fair for a chance to win limited-edition Upper Peninsula-themed bottles of Mountain Dew created for the soda brand’s “DEWnited States” campaign.

The Upper Peninsula’s inclusion in the DEWnited States campaign, which otherwise features bottles inspired by the 50 states, came about as a way of making amends for an error earlier this summer. A map of the United States featured in the campaign inaccurately showed the U.P. as being part of Wisconsin.

Twitter account “The Upper Peninsula” made a tweet about the error that received more than 10,000 likes.

“It was July 9, and we noticed a tweet from the ‘Upper Peninsula’ handle … that called us out on our mistake, rightly so,” Senior Director, Brand Communications at PepsiCo Kristen Mueller said.

In response, Mueller and others at PepsiCo began working to add U.P.-themed Mountain Dew bottles to the DEWnited States campaign.

Only 906 of the U.P.-themed bottles were produced. According to Mueller, creating a product on such a limited scale was outside of the company’s wheelhouse.

“PepsiCo is more suited to mass production and making products for millions, so this was a unique one,” she said.

However, she also said the bottles were an exciting addition to the DEWnited States campaign, which focuses on highlighting the things that make different parts of the country unique.

On July 10, Mountain Dew took to its official Twitter account to ask residents of the U.P. what they love about the area. The tweet received “thousands” of responses, which were taken into account in the development of the U.P.-themed label.

“From there, we worked with a designer to create a first draft of the label,” Mueller said.

The label was reviewed by U.P. natives working for PepsiCo. Justin “Bugsy” Sailor — the man behind the Twitter account that brought attention to the company’s mistake in the first place — was also involved in the development process.

“We knew it was important to get it right this time,” Mueller said.

Mueller also noted representatives of PepsiCo felt they should personally distribute the limited-edition bottles. To this end, she and other employees of the company scheduled a trip to the area.

On Sunday, distribution of the U.P.-themed Mountain Dew bottles began in Marquette.

“Bugsy … has a store there called the (Upper Peninsula) Supply Co.,” Mueller said.

The first U.P.-themed bottles were handed out at the store.

A Mountain Dew booth was set up near the grandstand at the U.P. State Fair Monday through Wednesday. There, fairgoers were able to try their luck at a ring toss game and a dunk tank, with prizes including limited-edition bottles and T-shirts.

Mueller said she has been “blown away” by the number of people that have attended the DEWnited States events held in the U.P., as well as the hospitality area residents have shown.

“Everyone’s been extremely welcoming,” she said.

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