labels: Soft drinks, Brand Dossier, Advertising / branding
PepsiCo unveils high-voltage online campaign for new drink news
23 January 2009

Global soft drinks maker PepsiCo has introduced a new drink called Voltage under the Mountain Dew label, which it plans to promote with a digital campaign.

The flavour, packaging, and design of Voltage, is the online collaboration of Mountain Dew fans.

"It's a new flavour created digitally," said Chrstian Dietrich, director of the Pepsi client business at Tribal DDB. Pepsi created three variations on Voltage theme and allowed consumers to vote on their favorites. The new beverage is on store shelves and a marketing campaign created by Tribal DDB Dallas was released in conjunction with the launch.

The new berry-flavored drink will be "everywhere" on the web. Mountain Dew Voltage was selected, from among three flavors, by 42 percent of 1.6 million people who visited last summer.

The promotion rewards fans who integrate the brand on social networking sites. Consumers are rewarded for becoming a Dew fan on Facebook, checking out its YouTube channel, downloading Dew MySpace themes and placing "Buzz badges" on social networks and message boards.

"You don't just come to a one- or two-page microsite to see some pretty pictures in Flash animation," said Christian Dietrich, director of the Pepsi business at Tribal DDB, which created the site. "It is a deep-engagement experience. You get to choose your own path to gain points and every week there will be a new sweepstakes." The promotion will run through April 30.

Site visitors log in using their Yahoo ID, earn points by participating in activities such as Motherboard, and redeem their points by entering in a sweepstakes. Prizes include Xbox 360 gaming consoles, snowboards, and branded hoodie sweatshirts. "The primary offering, which is an innovative and new approach, is not just 'hey here is a new product you can win,' but here is a new currency... We are offering new prizes every week," said Dietrich.

A Facebook buzzbadge is an additional way to earn points. Users who download it to put it on their page will accumulate two points toward a prize.

"We're giving people the opportunity to talk about themselves, about being excited in their involvement [with Mountain Dew Voltage]," Dietrich said. There's more content for Facebook and other social platforms to come.

Dietrich said that a mobile component was also on the way, where consumers can send a shout-out to friends about the site. If they reply with a text response, more points are earned.

"We're putting the messaging in the hands of the consumer versus it being a blast from a marketer."

The site is also being promoted via the brand's e-mail "Dewsletter."

Mountain Dew spent $625,000 on online media for the first 10 months of 2008 and $800,000 in 2007, per TNS Media Intelligence.

The media plan for the campaign includes an initial mix of standard and rich media ads running on Yahoo and College Humor, though the ads will likely spread to more sites over time. The ads are a "classic invitation to participate," said Dietrich.

Consumers who already have an affinity with Pepsi's Mountain Dew are linked into the new brand through the Web site and newsletter. The Web site's main page has a central tile specifically for the Voltage drink.

Consumers signed up for the newsletter Pepsi calls the Dewsletter also receive messaging about the new drink and marketing campaign. "It's maximizing the reach of a program towards greater participation," Dietrich said. "The consumers do the work for us."

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PepsiCo unveils high-voltage online campaign for new drink