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New YouTube find: a perky Mountain Dew commercial from the mid-sixties. The spot features bits with Joan Crawford (likely still a PepsiCo board member at the time) and mustachioed variety show mainstay Avery Shreiber. I still think it’s funny how the early Dew was marketed with a hayseed hillbilly theme.

6 Thoughts on “Barefootin’

  1. Hey Matt! What a fun commercial, huh? I found that (well, Dennis did–and directed me to it) on YouTube the other night. A couple of things I noticed: I think this is more from about 1970 than “mid-sixties.” They show a foot touching down on the moon (which would’ve been very “in” after the moon landing in the summer of ’69) and the shaggy haircut of the ‘kissed guy’ at the end says this can’t really be that earlier. Plus, the production values seem more later ’60s to even very early ’70s. Something else I just noticed? The guy getting the “foot shine” appears to be Joe “Ike Godsey” Conley of “The Waltons” fame. (PS, I noticed Avery Schreiber pretty quickly, too.) The last thing I think of evidence it’s probably from a bit later than you think is that Joan Crawford seemed to wear that pulled back-with-fake-bun hairdo through most of the late ’60s with her hairdo/wig getting bigger and fluffier as she went into the ’70s and approached death.

    I LOVE YouTube, but I wish there were ways of getting copyright info. One person had posted a men’s hair creme commercial starring Barbara Feldon looking to be on the cusp of being called “99” and the person described the commercial as “from the 50s.” Um…no.

    For me, looking at the surroundings, the clothing, and the hair can usually clue me in to the year of a commercial (or TV show).

    Lastly, the whole idea of marketing Mountain Dew with a hillbilly theme kinda makes sense to me since it ain’t called City Sweat. LOL

    Thanks for sharing this one, Matt!

  2. You make it sound like Joan Crawford had some kind of creeping hair disease later in life — her hair just got bigger and bigger until it killed her! Anyways, you’re right, it does appear to be more of a 1967-69 kinda thing with the astronaut and general air of grooviness. How long was Joan associated with Pepsi, anyway – the rest of her life? I thought she quit being on the board in the early 60s (or maybe that was just a particularly thrilling ‘Mommie Dearest’ scene).

  3. Yes, Joan perished from the dreaded “fluffy hair”! Or pancreatic cancer–whichever better suits your story.

    I believe Joan was associated with Pepsi until either the early 1970s or until death. I haven’t read any books about her in a few years now, so I can’t remember off the top of my head. As for the “don’t f*ck with me fellas…!” scene from “Mommie Dearest,” she wasn’t quitting at that point. In the movie, they were trying to FIRE her and she basically told them to forget it, she was staying with Pepsi–whether they liked it or not. I believe in real life, Joan insisted on staying with Pepsi for a few reasons: 1) Al Steele (whether because of his own actions or Joan’s spending) left her in quite a bit of debt after his sudden death, and 2) I think she liked the “prestige” and being considered “necessary” and useful. One thing’s for sure, Joan was no dummy. Pepsi wasn’t insisting on their product being placed anywhere and everywhere while she worked–that was all Joan.

  4. Thanks for filling us in on that, Dan. I admire Joan’s tenacity at this time in her life — she saw that the good film roles dried up, so she grabbed the Pepsi opportunity for everything it was worth and never let go. Smart lady.

  5. The cop sitting at the desk looks an awful lot like Horace McMahon of Naked City fame. Or is it just me?

    Of Joanie’s Pepsi-Cola gig, one of the funniest jokes I ever heard Bob Hope do was on an Oscar telecast in which he told La Joan to stop by his house and pick up “a bunch of empties.”

  6. re: the hillbilly theme

    Mountain Dew was (is?) slang for moonshine, and was commonly used in the South. So the southern tilt to the advertising only makes sense.

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