MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin research series will explore the citrus soda Mountain Dew at 4 p.m., Nov. 14, in the north reading room of the Paul Meek Library through a presentation open to the public. Students in an undergraduate marketing course will report the outcomes of their head-to-head taste test, reminiscent of the Pepsi Challenge, in which modern Mountain Dew is compared to Mountain Dew Throwback.
Brands continuously adapt their products to changing consumer preferences. Over time, “new” products become the “original” to younger consumers, allowing a brand to introduce a “throwback” version using earlier formulas and marketing tools. This was the case with Mountain Dew Throwback, re-introduced by Pepsi in 2009 to allow modern consumers access to the more “original” flavor.
The presentation will review the history of the Pepsi Challenge, arguably Pepsi’s most successful advertising campaign, as background to the UTM student group’s modern-day application. Data collected from university students provides insights into the efficacy of Pepsi’s strategic decisions when adapting products to changing consumer preferences. The presentation will share data collected by 30 students as part of their consumer behavior course taught by Christian Bushardt, a lecturer in UTM’s College of Business and Global.
Participants are also encouraged to tour a traveling exhibit titled, “It’ll Tickle Yore Innards!” about the development and history of Mountain Dew. Curated by the East Tennessee Historical Society, the exhibit utilizes historical photographs, advertising and marketing material, and a collection of original artifacts to reveal the Tennessee roots of this internationally famous beverage. The exhibit remains on display in the J. Houston Gordon Museum in the Paul Meek Library through January 2023.
The monthly UT Martin Research Series highlights the research of campus faculty, staff and students. In addition to co-sponsors, the Paul Meek Library and the Division of Academic Affairs, the event is supported with free refreshments and giveaway items provided by Pepsi MidAmerica. Parking for the reception will be in the Paul Meek Library parking lot on Wayne Fisher Drive off Mt. Pelia Road. Parking permits are available online at www.utm.edu/departments/publicsafety by selecting the “Online Visitor Parking Permit” link. The presentation will be live-streamed here with a recording available for viewing at a later date.
For more information, contact Dr. Erik Nordberg, dean of the Paul Meek Library, at 731-881-7070.