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Mello Yello is a caffeinated, citrus-flavored soft drink produced and distributed by the Coca-Cola Company. It was introduced in 1979 to compete with PepsiCo's Mountain Dew. There have been three flavored variants of Mello Yello. Mello Yello Cherry was released in response to Mountain Dew Code Red. The other two variants were peach-flavored Mello Yello Afterglow, and Mello Yello Melon. All three were only available for a limited time.

In the United States, Mello Yello is only sold in certain areas, primarily in the Midwest, Southeast and South Floridamarker, where it remains quite popular. The product allows Coca-Cola to have a presence in the citrus soft drink market segment along with Vault, another citrus soft drink that is more widely sold by Coca-Cola. A low calorie version, called Diet Mello Yello, also exists in select markets.

Marketing

Mello Yello is presumably named after the 1967 Donovan album and single Mellow Yellow, and, in fact, a cover of the song was used to promote the soft drink. Early television advertisements touted the suitability of the beverage for quick consumption, with an actor (dressed in an auto racing uniform) downing an entire bottle within the time of the commercial.

Mello Yello was featured in the 1990 NASCAR-based movie Days of Thunder, in which Tom Cruise's character, Cole Trickle, drove a Mello Yello-sponsored car to victory in the Daytona 500, although the product name itself is never verbally mentioned in the movie. That livery went on to become a real NASCAR paint scheme the following year, when driver Kyle Petty drove with Mello Yello sponsorship in the Winston Cup Series. He ran four seasons (1991-1994) with the sponsor before switching over to Coors Light in 1995. Mello Yello then in turn was seen as a sponsor on die-cast toy and collectible cars for both the Days of Thunder #51 Chevrolet Lumina and Kyle Petty's #42 Pontiac Grand Prix. Mello Yello also sponsored the fall Winston Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedwaymarker through 1994.

Mello Yello was also advertised by Jim Varney in the Ernest commercials in which he was known to say "Make the Mello Yello move, knowhutimean?".

New Zealand relaunch

In October 2006 Mello Yello was relaunched in New Zealand as a 'limited edition' product after a long absence, of at least 15 years, from the local market. The relaunched New Zealand version contained the original 1980s logo, and just like when it was available in the 1980s even contained the words A Product of the Coca-Cola Company on the bottle top. This 'limited edition' release was only available in 600ml and 1.5 litre plastic bottles and contained the words Limited Edition. Only 200,000 cases of the promo product were produced in 2006 according to Coca Cola. Mello Yello was once again relaunched to the New Zealand market in October 2007 and was available until the end of 2007.

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