Several stores in the area now have Batman-themed Mountain Dew displays, a promotion for the July 20 release of the summer blockbuster “The Dark Knight Rises.” The cases used to form the iconic “Bat” emblem are for a new flavor inspired by the movie called “Dark Berry.”
The displays were installed late last week at Wal-mart, Winn-Dixie and the Dollar General on Highway 78.
Each required several hundred cases of Mountain Dew to create. The one at Winn-Dixie, for example, uses more than 400.
The boxes are stabilized through a combination of clear duct tape and alternating the placement of the cases.
Jeff Quick, area sales manager for PepsiCo, said the displays not only help increase sales but also make for a fun shopping experience.
“It generates a lot of excitement. Kids who come in are really drawn to this,” Quick said.
Pepsi employees received several different “Dark Knight” designs from the corporate office to choose from based on how much space each store had available.
Two different designs were used in Jasper.
The one at Dollar General, the smallest of the three display, resembles the logo used in “The Dark Knight” franchise, while the one at Winn-Dixie is a throwback to the Bat Signal familiar to fans of the 1989 “Batman” film.
During his career with Pepsi, Quick has been involved in creating footballs, turkeys, snowmen, checkered flags and numerous other images out of soft drink cases.
The largest display he can recall in Walker County took up the entire front window at Son’s in Parrish several years ago. It used more than 700 cases to spell out “Go Junior # 88” in honor of Nascar fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Quick said several employees are assigned to a typical display, which can take between two and six hours to build depending on the size.
The Piggly Wiggly in Dora currently has an elaborate Independence Day display that took several Pepsi employees nearly eight hours to create.
The design — the head of a bald eagle inset in an American flag with “U.S.A.” spelled out underneath — was created in-house by Pepsi employees.
Quick said the company holds a display contest several times a year, and the winning team receives $500.
“That eagle is in the lead right now, but it wouldn’t surprise me if somebody knocked us out of first because you have to make something really elaborate to win,” he said.
Quick added that no matter how good a display looks to the general public, he has never seen a perfect one.
“I can always step back at the end and wish we had done something just a little bit differently that would have made it look even better,” he said.