15 Apr Mountain Dew Quenches Our Social Media Marketing Thirst
We’ve all got our vices, some more than others, for better or worse. Mine comes in the form of an irresistible citrus-lemon flavored soft drink known as Mountain Dew (just check out Ignite’s recycling bin and you’ll quickly see the depths of my vice). While taste (and caffeine) plays a major role in my affection for Mountain Dew, a considerable amount of credit for the brand’s resurgence has to do with promotions, particularly in the realm of social marketing, community oriented interactions and sponsorship investments.
Spanning more than sixty years, Mountain Dew’s life has seen its share of ups and downs while undergoing several changes over the decades. In the last decade Pepsi has invested heavily into the marketing of Mountain Dew products, helping secure 80% of citrus flavored soft drink sales in the United States, toppling rivals such as Vault, Mello Yello and Sun Drop. Embracing the power of online social media, Mountain Dew has created a strong presence across top networks including YouTube, Twitter and particularly Facebook. Sporting more than 35,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 4.5 million Facebook fans, Mountain Dew has secured itself within the social network space. Mountain Dew has generated a highly passionate, loyal following of supporters and enthusiasts that not only voice their sentiments toward the brand but also participate in the direction Pepsi takes the product line in the future.
White Out Social Media Marketing
Late in 2010 Mountain Dew teamed up with actor, writer and comedian Jerry Brooks, better known as J.B. Smoove, as he presented a look behind the scenes of his hilarious focus group interviews for Mountain Dew White Out. First launched in 2007, the DEWmocracy promotion allowed fans to elect new flavors, colors, graphics and ads for Mountain Dew. The end result of Mountain Dew’s DEWmocracy 2010 campaign, White Out, garnered the most fan votes to become the latest flavor of Mountain Dew made available to consumers. A White Out Facebook tab created by Mountain Dew allowed viewers to watch the humorous focus group videos, share photos, answer questions posed by the brand and post Mountain Dew Shout Outs to a fan’s wall. Mountain Dew also featured J.B.’s videos on their YouTube page, which helped boost their views despite their Facebook page having much higher traction rates. Anything but boring, the six focus group videos featured at the top of the tab were meant to get viewers laughing while they became aware of Mountain Dew’s latest flavor. The key that made these videos a successful marketing tool is that they were less about the product itself and more about providing viewers with entertaining clips that didn’t feel like commercials filled with brand messages.
You Pick the Next Diet Dew
As part of Mountain Dew’s FanDEWmonium campaign, fans are being polled to help choose the next flavor of Diet Dew. Mountain Dew has gone so far as to create a special website to promote and collect votes for each of the two potential flavors. There is also a Mountain Dew Facebook tab where fans can also cast their ballot for either the raspberry citrus flavored Voltage or the strawberry melon Supernova flavor before sharing those results with friends, helping spread the word while recruiting even more votes from fans.
Taking the promotion far beyond a simple poll that tallies votes, the FanDEWmonium campaign captures the essence of what has helped make the Mountain Dew brand a hit in the last decade by encouraging fans to voice their opinions, also enticing others to vote for one flavor candidate over the other. This type of friendly rivalry within a brand brings out the enthusiasm that marketers live for while giving the consumers a real chance to have an impact on the product they are so passionate about.
Going Green Label
Created in 2007, Mountain Dew’s Green Label enabled artists to submit bottle designs that were in turn voted on for production and distribution. Since then the Green Label promotion has grown to incorporate four categories of entertainment including art, music, sports and gaming, some of which have their own specialized website as well as a Green Label tab on Mountain Dew’s Facebook page. Mountain Dew’s Green Label has been responsible for giving valuable exposure to up and coming recording artists by releasing free downloadable singles, offering an entertaining, branded way for listeners to broaden their horizons.
Green Label has also created several highly successful extreme sports tours, hosting events such as skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross. Mountain Dew’s gaming label has entrenched itself in the video game world by sponsoring independent game developers, players and events including the Independent Games Festival and the Game Developers Conference. They have even gone so far as to partner with top video games as Halo and World of Warcraft, creating co-branded cover art and promotions. By making their presence known in the worlds of extreme sports, urban arts and entertainment Mountain Dew has secured a strong grasp of their young skateboard shredding, graffiti spraying, music and video game loving target audience.
Black by Popular DEWmand
Originally released for the Halloween 2004 season, Mountain Dew Pitch Black quickly became a fan favorite alternative flavor. In response to popular demand, Pepsi has decided to bring the grape flavored Mountain Dew back this coming May. The brand has been relying on their sizable Twitter account to help spread awareness about the re-release of Pitch Black, even using their YouTube and Facebook pages to support the #DEWRunners campaign through @Mtn_Dew. The account is managed by two members of the DEW brand team who regularly respond to fans helping to further promote the new flavor while increasing excitement and enthusiasm with the overall audience.
Just Dew It
Through their marketing promotions, Mountain Dew has appealed to the lifestyles embraced by the consumers who continue to help grow and shape the future of one of America’s most popular soft drinks. Pepsi knew they had a good thing that could be made even better with savvy, entertaining, yet unobtrusive marketing. By understanding their target audience and catering to their interests in a way that facilitated a two-way interaction between the brand and the consumer, Pepsi has nourished the Mountain Dew brand, growing it into one of the most lucrative soft drink brands on the market. The grasp Mountain Dew has on the social marketing realm is reflected by this success and they show no signs of slowing down, continuing to entertain and serve the needs of thirsty consumers like myself…who don’t plan on slowing down on consuming it.