Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Righteous Malt Dew: Johnson City Gold

For the longest time, I lamented the fact that some new flavors of Mtn Dew seemed a tad immature with super bright colors and super fruity tastes.  I thought that White Out shattered this mold with its snow white color and smooth taste.  Now, Mtn Dew has taken an even bigger step towards a mature look and smooth taste: Johnson City Gold.

Johnson City Gold is a malt flavored Dew.  It has a distinct beer-like smell when cracked open, a light golden color, and a can design that looks very adult.

It is one flavor in a regional Dew campaign.  Fans can name and design the label of the other flavors here: http://www.yourmaltdew.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Loyal DEWsciple: Cache native hip-deep in soda flavor promotions

Originally published HERE, in the Herald Journal.
Logan native Matt Jorgensen was featured in a
Mountain Dew commercial for the flavor
White Out, (Jennifer Meyers/Herald Journal).
Cache Valley native Matthew Jorgensen will never forget the first time he tried a Mountain Dew. It was his fourth birthday, which was videotaped. Friends brought a brown paper bag with seven different cans of soda to his house. He reached for the Mountain Dew at random.

"I tried it then, and I remember loving it ever since," said Jorgensen, who was raised in Hyde Park. "Birthdays were a special occasion, so I got to drink a lot of soda on my birthday."

It's safe to say that Mountain Dew has been a part of Jorgensen's whole life. He even had the citrus-flavored drink at his side while his wife was in labor.

Jorgensen never thought he'd be a part of helping to conceptualize, name and market a Mountain Dew flavor with a handful of other people who were just as crazy about the drink as he was.

But that's exactly what happened to the graduate researcher attending the University of Utah when Mountain Dew launched three new flavors - Mountain Dew Distortion, Mountain Dew White Out and Mountain Dew Typhoon - that were developed in partnership with consumers during the brand's DEWmocracy 2 campaign. It was a consumer-driven campaign that enabled more than 4,000 of the brand's most loyal fans - referred to as Dew Labs members - to co-create three new beverages.

Jorgensen was selected as "president of the White Out Flavor Nation," creating Facebook and Twitter pages and doing other things to get people to vote for the flavor.

"I babied it from the beginning," Jorgensen said. "As a die-hard Dew fan, I'm just really excited to be a part of the process. It also feels really good as a consumer to be listened to. They've taken listening to a completely new level."

Jorgensen joked that there's a certain lingo between Mountain Dew drinkers like himself that non-Mountain Dew drinkers might not understand - so he explained how he feels about the drink in layman's terms.

"I would drink a regular Mountain Dew before I went out and did something really big and exciting, like ride a bike off a big jump," Jorgensen said. "Then I'd drink a White Out when I'm chillin' at home with AC on later thinking about how awesome it was."

Jorgensen helped film the Mountain Dew commercial, "Here's to the loud." Jorgensen, of Salt Lake City, appears at the end of the commercial to hold up one of the newest flavors of the popular soda drink.

"Dew fans across America, your voice has been heard," the announcer said. "A new flavor of Mountain Dew."

For the commercial, Mountain Dew hand-selected a group of "Dew All-Stars" from across the country, each representing one of the seven flavors to celebrate its Back by Popular DEWmand program. The program is meant to promote many re-releases of old Mountain Dew favorites. Jorgensen was selected as the All-Star for Mountain Dew White Out.

The film crew also shot Jorgensen at a party that the company threw for him in Logan at his father's house. The film shows Jorgensen meeting up with friends there before they go downtown with cell phones and cameras on a "scavenger hunt." Shots of the Wells Fargo Bank and Zions Bank can be seen.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Celebrate the Individual Dew Drinker - Throw Them a Party

Printscreen captured from Mountain Dew's Facebook page.

Ever worry about your most passionate consumers becoming lost in the crowd?  That, if not recognized, they will slowly drift away and disaffect, taking their online influence and crowdsourced motivation with them?  Maybe you know how powerful negative social dialog can be, and you wish to combat it by drowning it out with as much user generated positive feedback as possible.

Mountain Dew and Motive have a plan to navigate these tricky waters.  The idea is to celebrate the power of the collected consumers' voice by bringing back old flavors that they have been demanding (hence, back by popular DEWmand), while acknowledging the role of some passionate fans in the flavor's redux.

First, the super fans are recognized by making them a "Flavor All-Star" for the drink they have championed.  Part of the deal is that they get a party, thrown by Motive, custom tailored to them in their Dew-loving uniqueness.  Out of Mountain Dew's 5+ million of regular Facebook fans, and 4000+ Dew Labs members, 7 make the cut.  For these fans, the recognition means everything.  People in the 18-30 year old demographic really want to be recognized as special, and not in a superficial way.  It's a way for the brand to show a few die-hards that they really know and care about them.

These fans then make up a panel of judges for a promotion.  Their face is plastered up on Facebook, demanding respect for the contributions they have made and notifying the world that they are the revered judges of the upcoming online contest.  The contest is geared to try and spawn even more super fans.  Followers of Mountain Dew submit media via Facebook to show their love for their favorite flavor, the winner - chosen based on their passion for their flavor - will win a flavor party of their own fueled by Mountain Dew, thrown Motive.  After the submissions are narrowed down by the community at large, the super fan judge panel will make the final decision in collaboration with brand managers.

At the end of the day, the most passionate Dew fans are rewarded for their efforts, Dew Labs members are motivated by the sight of what is possible for excelling in the program, the seeds of the next generation of ultimate fans is sown, and regular fans start having a deep-impression brand experience all while simultaneously promoting the limited time offer return of Mountain Dew Pitch Black and Supernova through extremely efficient social media.

This, my friends, is why Mountain Dew and Motive kick-ass.  This is why they are winning Ex Awards and landing on the cover of Event magazine and getting their name thrown around by Adage and Mashable.  They are brilliant, cost effective, unstoppable.  I am one of these super fans, I know in a weird way that I am a tool in the giant marketing machine.  But, I feel like these guys respect me.  They know me.  They have listened to and implemented many of my suggestions.  And, I have tirelessly promoted them on my own.  For free.  Why?  Because I know them and respect them.  And, in a weird way I feel like I am helping them out.  It's all about a mutual respect, me doing what I can for them and them doing what they can for me.  Dew fans helping Dew fans who also happen to be marketers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Drop the SunDrop

This photo of a SunDrop sign surfaced in Dew Labs.

Somebody had the idea to switch it to Drop the Drop.  He he he.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dewlabs Member Blazing Trails in Dew Debate

Any good Mormons drink caffeinated sodas? I 'Dew,' says Dew devotee

Matthew Jorgensen gets more questions about caffeine than any other element of his Mormon faith. That's partly because outsiders see him turn down coffee while nursing a Mountain Dew.

The puzzled observers — and, apparently, many within the Utah-based faith as well — seem to think that the LDS Church forbids all caffeinated drinks.

In fact, the LDS Church's health code, known simply as the "Word of Wisdom," forbids the use of alcohol, tobacco and "hot drinks," which church authorities have defined as tea and coffee. Caffeine is not mentioned.

“I haven't really recognized a conflict between caffeinated sodas and my religion,” Jorgensen, a graduate researcher in the University of Utah's chemistry department, writes in an email.

The researcher is not alone.

Utah has such a strong Mountain Dew following, he says, that the Beehive State typically is one of three or four stops on the nationwide Dew Tour.

Recently, Jorgensen, a Salt Lake City native and practicing Mormon, was selected to be one of the head “consumer creators” of the Dew's newest flavor, White Out, featured in a couple of national commercials. Look for him at the end of the “Here's to the Loud” commercial.

And, yes, White Out is packed with the energy-pumping ingredient at the center of the great Word of Wisdom debate.

Peggy Fletcher Stack

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dewlabs Member Gets Huge Prop From USA Today

Fellow Dewlabs member Ron Buckman got huge props in a USA today article that describes his involvement in the creation of white out. Ron and I have met and hung out a bit, and I must say that if anybody deserves recognition for White Out, it is him. Bellow is a quote from the article, originally found here, that talks about Ron and what's next for Dewlabs.
Ron Buckman considers himself an everyday person. The resident of Fraser, Mich., is 24, and he’s a sales guy at an Apple retail store at the local mall. But there’s one thing he loves even more than computers: Mountain Dew.
“As soon as I was allowed to drink pop, I was drinking Mountain Dew,” he says. He still drinks at least one a day, he says, and admits to occasionally using it as a mixer with alcohol. So it’s no surprise that he became an active fan on Mountain Dew’s Facebookpage.
But this might be a surprise: He not only helped select the flavor of a recent Mountain Dew drink, he also named it. This was all linked to Mountain Dew’s DEWmocracy campaign that was aimed at giving consumers a say in product creation. Last year, consumers picked one permanent flavor from three limited-time flavors.
Because of Buckman’s constant activity on Mountain Dew’s Facebook page, Buckman was invited by the brand to be a member of its Dew Labs team. That’s a group of Mountain Dew enthusiasts who get to chat amongst themselves online and help create Mountain Dew products. Some even become veritable product guinea pigs — sent test products in advance and asked for detailed comment.
One such citrus product that Buckman was sent last year — along with several other potential flavors that he was shipped in a FedEx box — he rechristened White Out. He loved the flavor so much that he lobbied other Mountain Dew enthusiasts to buy into it and vote for it over the two other flavors in the running. He even got actor Ashton Kutcher to help him promote the flavor via Twitter. His efforts won out. White Out’s been on shelves since October as a permanent flavor.
“Just having a product that I named come to fruition is awesome,” says Buckman, who was not paid for his efforts, although he did get to appear very briefly in a commercial for the new flavor.
He knows the score. Mountain Dew didn’t let him “inside” just for fun. “Companies are smart to let consumers interact and make decisions,” he says. “It’s also free advertising,” when consumers chat about it online, he adds.
Now, Mountain Dew executives want to take it to the next stage. They’re trying to figure out a way to let consumers be more physically hands on in product creation. In other words: actually mixing the next brew.
While Mountain Dew isn’t ready to let consumers inside its new-product labs, it is trying to figure out a way within the next few years to bring the labs to them, says Brett O’Brien, director of marketing for the brand. It’s looking into creating mobile labs, on wheels, that it would send to events, such as snowboarding competitions or summer festivals, where consumers could step in and mix ingredients. “That would be the next step in consumer interaction,” says Buckman. “They’d be building the products with us.”

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fans Getting National Reach

The Dew Labs blog is gaining popularity, with a google page rank of 3 (mtndewlabs.com itself has 2) and a small but steady stream of visitors daily. Facebook pages from the Dew Labs members are reaching tens of thousands of fans, twitter traffic continues to reflect conversations about Mountain Dew. And, why not? Mountain Dew has created something awesome enough that fans want to talk about it on their own. Suprisingly, we have been getting quite a bit of traffic from various universities, such as Georgetown.

What does all this say about Dew Labs members? That we will continue to have a say in the products we love. Keep up the great work my fellow Dew fans! If YOU want to contribute to the Dew Labs blog, email me at mtndewlabs@gmail.com

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to get into DEWlabs - Mountain Dew Labs Open Enrollment

Why should you join? Take my experience for example:

I joined over a year ago, and was one of the first people to taste the three new flavors 493, 509, and 231. I helped name those flavors White Out, Typhoon, and Distortion (respectively). I helped pick the colors of each new flavor. After I joined the White Out flavor nation, I conference called with the designer of the label, Andre Zottolo, and helped shape they way White Out looks today. I was invited by the Mountain Dew brand team to fly to New York for a media event (but couldn't go). Then, I conference and brain-stormed commercial ideas with Steve and Jen, the makers of the original White Out commercial (with the ninjas chasing the girl).

I helped rally members in DEWlabs for the release of White Out, Typhoon, and Distortion. Then, I ran a aggressive campaign to get White Out to be voted in as the new permanent flavor of Mountain Dew. Along the way, I won lots of cool Dew gear. Finally, this fall I was flown to Denver to be in the new Mountain Dew White Out commercial which is airing nationally.

Basically, if you decide you want to really make a difference in Mountain Dew... the possibilities are almost limitless.

You can apply by clicking this link: Join DEWlabs

Before you do, check out my previous post on getting into DEWlabs.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

How Dew Does a Commercial 2

Originally published HERE on ThisToolsLife.

Everything is last minute rush! But, a rush none the less.

At the wardrobe fitting I asked the advertising agence folks, Motive, what I should avoid blogging about. I expected there to be a tight lid on info until after the commercial airs. But, they seemed relaxed about it. They said not to give details about the story board and the closing tag line. The last bit was surprising to me because the tag line for the new diet dew commercial "Diet tastes better on the Mountain" was circling around for weeks before the commercial came out. Whatever.

The director of the commercial, Vincent Laforet, overheard me talking about it and hustled over to interject "blog about working with me!" At first I didn't know quite how to take this remark. Did he, a pulitzer prize winning photographer, esteem my pitiful blogs so highly that he geniunly wanted the publicity? Or, is he savvy with his SEO and just wants another link to http://www.laforetvisuals.com/? Nah, none of my blogs have a page rank greater than 3, his is a 4. Maybe he felt like my interaction with him would be the only thing worth blogging about? I found out later that not only is he brilliant, but a genuinly nice guy - so I doubt he had any selfish motive behind letting a hobby blogger throw his name around. I am sure I will dedicate a post to him in the future.

Overall, my impression of the commercial shoot was very positive. Everything was organized as well as it could be under the circumstances. I was able to connect with a member of the Mountain Dew brand team, which turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. The advertising agency gave us celebrity like respect, the production company (the Joneses) were curtious even when I was stepping on their toes and asking one too many questions.

9 of us "talent" were flown out there coach class, put up for two nights in the Westin Tabor in Denver, given $150 bucks total for incidentals, $200 for shoot day fees, and three meals. In return, I talked my head off about a subject I love, wore everyday cloths, and just acted like myself.

Much more than the material benifit of going, I felt like for a day I was part of a team. I sincerly connected with my fellow Dew comrades (Jones, Buckman, Maska, Kinch). I would hang out with them any time. I connected with the folks at Motive (Matt, Jon, and the rest) and have come to really respect what they do; I would recommend them to any client. Nate and Loretta from Pepsi, it was SO REFRESHING to talk with you. For the first time I felt like I was being listened to, that I was respected and trusted, that the legal-paranoid-brand-wall was down for a while. What ever doubt about the integrety of the Mtn Dew brand I had is long gone.

I'll never forget the dinner we had together at the end, all laughing and toasting, eating until midnight... the absinthe. Honestly, after dinner I felt better than having just been part of a team... I felt like family.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Behind the Scenes at the Latest DEWmocracy Campaign

*Originally Published HERE by Brian Quinton*

The people have spoken, and Mountain Dew's newest citrus flavor, crowd-sourced for a year and due to hit store shelves in late August, is White Out

But both the product development and the activation campaign also came up winners for both Pepsi's Mountain Dew brand and Motive, the Denver-based agency that managed what may be the longest and most involved grassroots brand event.

DEWmocracy 2 kicked off in June 2009 as an update to DEWmocracy, a Web project in which fans played an online adventure game to develop flavors, names and packaging for three potential new Dews. This time out, the brand went social, found about 4,000 passionate brand fans through its Twitter and Facebook pages, and organized them into a Dew Labs consumer group.

“Dew Labs members were the core of decision-making for flavor, name and color, but also the mouthpiece for saying ‘This is why White Out or Typhoon is great,’” says marketing director Brett O'Brien. “It's a lot different when it comes from a fan.”

And when it came time to let the nation vote, fans themselves were given control of the 31-day, 69-city tours by the three teams representing the new flavors. Starting from Boston, Orlando and Seattle, the teams used Facebook and microsites to ask fans how and where to accomplish challenges, such as setting up a voting HQ, taking part in a ball game, attending a wedding, etc.

“DEWmocracy had incubated this passionate community, and when a team came to their town, they jumped at the opportunity to get involved,” says Matt Statman, founder of Motive. One volunteered his home for a marathon videogame session; another got the team onto the field during a game by the Durham NC Bulls.

“'Crowd-sourcing' to me feels like handing the bus keys to the public and telling them to drive off,” says O'Brien. “DEWmocracy was more like letting the fans onto the bus with us, and deciding together where we want to go.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

How Dew Does a Commercial

So, I entered a video into a 15 second contest on DEWmocracy.com for the chance to be in a Mountain Dew commercial, and I won! Well, it may not actually be as simple as that. I have been active as a fan on DEWlabs for months, I was given extra responsibility and a closer behind-the-scenes look at how the Mountain Dew brand machine works. Truly, it has been an awesome and very educational experience. Along the way I have exchanged emails and met people, including some of the fine folks at Motive (the Colorado based company that put together the Mountain Dew Throwback spotting challenges and prizes as well as the three traveling flavor teams during the DEWmocracy 2 campaign). Motive also happens to be participating in this commercial contest.

So, what's it like to win the chance to be in a commercial? The commercial shoot is 3 days away, so I don't know what it is like to actually be filmed for a commercial but I do know what it is like to win and that is pretty cool. I have never been to the filming of anything so I really don't know what to expect. Here is what I know so far: commercial production is last minute! Like I said the shoot is three days away, I fly out day after tomorrow, and I am yet to receive travel information outside of that I will leave sometime Sunday morning. The commercial producer, Beth Aranda working with The Joneses production company, tells me though that while such last minute arrangements aren't normal in "regular" life, they are in film production.

So what to I have to do, and what do I get in return? Well, my understanding is that I don't have to do much more than show up, listen carefully to directions, and just be myself. What could be easier than that? In return they fly me out to Denver (coach class of course), put me up in a moderately nice hotel (4 stars), and give me a little money per diem and a shoot day fee (which I don't know if I am allowed to disclose, but anything is great).

So far my interactions with the production people have been top notch. These people obviously know what they are doing organizing what seems to be impossibly complex, yet they have time to be friendly and patiently help me along.

I wont lie, I am still very nervous. This sort of thing, interacting with lots of people, is really out of my element. I guess we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reblog: Sales Incentive Marketing, Bigger is Not Always Better

Originally published here on This Tool's Life.

They are marketing mercenaries, incentive administrators for hire. Brands, like Mountain Dew, pay them to take on the trouble of running sweepstakes, contests, rebates and the like. Companies like Young America are an intermediary point of contact between the consumer (who enters a contest, or mails in a rebate), and the brand who sponsors the incentive. Of course, the whole point of marketing incentives is to build consumer relationship with a particular brand through the path of interest, interaction, intimacy, and influence. Depending on how well a marketing scheme is executed, a consumer’s relationship to a brand may be strengthened or weakened.
Young America’s corporate website touts their complex structure:
“We’re bigger. And when the stakes are high, that means better. Our massive, expandable promotion infrastructure deploys the largest, most elaborate promotion fulfillment and engagement marketing programs – without compromising accuracy or turn time.”
While Young America’s expandability and years of experience could be appealing to the corporate marketer, large complex organizations often have trouble interacting with the individual because they run many parallel promotions in which thousands of people may be involved. Since consumer relationship is all about particular individuals’ interaction with a brand, it is at this point that damage may be done.

I have recently been involved in a very informal way in the product development and marketing of Mountain Dew White Out through my participation in DEWlabs (a sort of extreme consumer panel). Throughout my time in DEWlabs I have developed a casual relationship with the brand managers (via conference calls, live chats, email and the like). The group is small enough that the brand people can have this type of interaction without a logistical problem. I know a few of the team by name, and can honestly say that I like them.

On the other hand, I also won a prize during a separate marketing campaign in which Mountain Dew was the sponsor and Young America (YA) was the contest administer. With this contest, bigger turned out not to be better. There were several bumps along the way that, were it not for my perspective on the Mountain Dew brand, would have soured me to brand altogether.

In case you happen to be a marketer considering YA, I'll outline my experience for you so you know what you might be getting yourself into. 10 days after winning, I was emailed an affidavit asking for my mailing address that said that after I return it (which I did within hours) I should wait for further information regarding my prize. Further information never came, when I emailed them about it I received a form response “the rules say delivery could take 8-10 weeks” instead of an answer to my question. After I waited 13 weeks without word from YA, I emailed them asking if they had record that I had actually won the prize and if it was coming. A response was received a week later (14 weeks now) that I had failed to give them my shirt size in the affidavit. I kept a copy of the original affidavit and it never asked me for my shirt size. A month after I mailed them my shirt size, I still had not received my prize or word from them regarding it. I emailed YA, the Mountain Dew brand team, and Motive (an awesome Colorado based hybrid agency responsible for actually making the prizes). Motive said that the last they heard from YA, all the prizes had been shipped out. YA said that the prizes were shipping out within the next 2 weeks. After two weeks past I sent YA an email asking to speak with a supervisor. The next day, my prize arrived (22 weeks after I won) but was incomplete. I was to receive a video camera and 9 shirts; only 4 shirts came… all the wrong size, which is odd because YA said that they were waiting for my size to send my prize.

I think I simply slipped through the cracks. I think they sent me the wrong affidavit at the beginning, then when I responded and wasn’t on some list corresponding to the affidavit I was forgotten until I began sending emails. The new affidavit asking for my shirt size was a cover-up to make it look like the error was mine. By this time the majority of the prizes were out (other people said they received theirs, and Motive said YA had shipped them out). Shipping my prize probably required a special order, so it took a couple weeks and they were just out of inventory on the shirts.

In YA’s defense, they do seem to take complaints seriously provided they are loud enough. I wrote a message to the sales team informing them that I planned to write this article about my experience with YA. Within the hour I received a response from Leone Hunter (Vice President, Client Services / Product Manager, Sweepstakes), and later in the day a call. Without admitting any fault, she informed me that YA takes quality of service seriously, and explained the inherent complexity involved in managing a contest. There was a delay in receiving the shirts, and size preference is difficult to coordinate (and not guaranteed). We talked some more and made arrangements to make things right for me personally.

Making things right for me personally turned out to mean receiving a couple of beanies, a belt buckle, some wrist sweat bands, and a vintage looking poster print in the mail with a couple of coupons.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Case For White Out

This spring is going to be special. Once again, every Dew fan will have their own opinion about which Dew should be added to the permanent line. Taste is so personal: taste in music, art, clothing styles, pizza toppings, and, of course, Dew flavors. In 2008, I was a fan of all three DEWmocracy flavors. I felt it was my "DEW-ty" to vote anyway, and I ended up voting for Revolution because of the packaging! I never had been a fan of the black backgrounds on Code Red, Live Wire, Supernova, or Voltage. Since I liked all three DEWmocracy flavors equally, my decision came down to a secondary trait... never underestimate such things. Let's discuss a couple secondary qualities that I strongly believe could end up giving White Out the edge in April:
1. It's Clear Dew. (Officially, white flash-colored Dew.)

+ I could not be happier that white flash was chosen over the two yellowish shades. When I first sampled the seven potential Dews, I did so without looking at the color. Food/soda color does influence people's opinions... and taste buds. If White Out had emerged as a yellow beverage, comparisons to classic Mtn Dew (which I don't see) may have had increased believability.

+ White Out's color easily alludes to the visualization of snow-capped mountains. The sweet winning label art made by Andre Z has been modified to fit the super smooth wintry White Out theme.

+ Those who remember Crystal Pepsi might bring it up after learning about this crystal Dew but they'll quickly pipe down once they take a swig.

+ While I'm not entirely certain that the product released in April will completely lack opacity, White Out would comfortably fit in places (like some stadiums, theatres, lecture rooms) where everything but H2O is prohibited or discouraged. I have poured Sierra Mist into water bottles in the past, but c'mon! Dew!

2. Awesome alternate meanings: blizzards and correction fluid

+ In weather terminology, a whiteout condition means visibility is zero because of snow.

+ In the universe of office supplies, whiteout is used to blot over mistakes on paper.

+ Possible slogan: "Blot out" a dull moment with a bottle of Mtn Dew White Out.
+ I have a wonderful correction fluid-themed ad idea that I'll reveal eventually.

The flavor's there. The packaging is solid. Getting undecided voters on board could be key to White Out's success. Follow White Out flavor nation on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MtnDewWhiteOut May the best Dew win.

-A White Out flavor nation member

Thanks anonymous White Out man! I think that you make great arguments for the success of White Out... it will be interesting to see what drink the American drinkers at large like. I want to make one clarification on the color, it really is white - not clear. There are tons of clear and white-ish sodas out there, but have you ever seen a really white, white out conditions white, soda?

REMEMBER TO VOTE FOR MTN DEW WHITE OUT! Go to www.DEWmocracy.com, or text 493 to 68339!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How To: Get Into DEWlabs

Participation in Mountain Dew's exclusive DEWlabs is invitation only. However, there are some things you can do that will help you get an invite. Participate! Follow Mountain Dew on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for the DEWsletter, enter into contests. After all, for them to invite you they have to have your email address and know that you are active online. Sometimes, there is a place on www.mountaindew.com that you can enter in your email address if you want to be considered for DEWlabs.

Once you get the invite, you're not necessarily in. Mountain Dew is looking for a particular type of Dew fan... an uber fan, a fan that goes the extra mile for their Mountain Dew. Brand manager Brett O'Brian has described DEWlabs members as:
" ...passionate not just in ‘I love this brand,’ but ‘I want to talk about it;’ ‘its part of who I am;’ ‘it’s a part of my everyday;’ ‘I eat, drink, sleep Mountain Dew.’ It represents who they are."

I remember that when I got my invite, there were a few survey questions that reflected this. How you respond is a factor in your eligibility. Things like "How often do you drink Mountain Dew?" and "Which soda do you prefer over all?" as well as questions about my age and activity online. Are you the type of Dew fan that the brand is looking for?

Remember, DEWlabs and DEWmocracy are very much rooted in social media internet (things like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Youtube, etc.) if you want to participate you should probably be familiar with all of these enough to have an account in many of them. I remember at the time I was invited I had a couple of blogs, a Twitter account, a Facebook, a YouTube, and some others. I am not sure about the age requirement... I am 25. But I have heard of people who said they were rejected for being too young, so the age limit might be 18.

Once you get in, give me a shout out! Get ready to participate on a level beyond just entering to win free stuff, get ready to help shape the brand you love!

DEWlabs has been an awesome experience for me. For the first time, I have seen the faces behind a big corporate brand. I used to think that corporate big wigs were so concerned with only the bottom line that they had forgotten about the consumer as individuals... now when I buy a bottle of Mountain Dew I think of the super nice people I have interacted with in the Dew brand team. I think of Angie, Matt, Courtney, and Brett. Real people who took the time to stop and listen to me, an individual consumer. I look at the packaging of Mountain Dew White Out, and I think of Andre the designer. I see the commercial, and I think of Steve and Jen. In the end, Mountain Dew is all about people.

You can apply by clicking this link: Join DEWlabs

Friday, April 16, 2010

When Your Crowd Gets Bored: Stir Up The Mud

It has been an arduous journey these last 6 months in DEWlabs. An unruly pack of titan Mountain Dew fans has created three new sodas hand in hand with big corporate marketers and brand people. We have all played a part. I personally have been included on conference calls with the designers of the label, the makers of Mtn Dew White Out's commercial, and Pepsi PR. We have worked with Jamie Wilkinson and all his internet famousness. The White Out team, of which I am a leader, drove over 2,500 new followers to our flavor's Twitter account @MtnDewWhiteOut in just over a week, we grew a following on our Tumblr blog, and have created loads of media. Next Monday (April 19th) the sodas we made will be released into the market, the commercials we helped shape will play on the air, and our flavors will be at the mercy of the nation.

It has been a long time. We have all spent hours debating and picking apart each decision that was ours. Now we are a bit tired.

As a DEWlabs community, we have been participating in a little friendly competition amongst ourselves for extra advertising money for our flavor. All of this has been coordinated by Jamie Dubbs and his team. What was meant to be an entertaining internet skill and buzz builder, turned into - I think - something that just required too much effort on the part of regular DEWlabs members. People started to get worn out and complain, and this last challenge things turned a bit viscous when the Typhoon flavor nation thought Distortion was stealing content from their site. They asked Distortion politely to remove the content, and then sent "a wave" of comments to their Facebook page demanding the content be removed... some of the comments by Typhoon fans turned hateful. Distortion got upset. Suddenly, this wasn't that fun anymore.

So what do you do when your crowd that you have been sourcing degenerates to this? Stir up the mud!

There is a brand new DEWlabs site for us to play in, and a boat load of new members. Using the new site requires renewing your profile. I think this is so that the burned out people (who probably wont renew their profile) can be separated from the motivated ones. It is exciting to have fresh blood in the system. That last competition, all but just a few of my team had gotten burnt out out... in the end there were only three of us that really contributed. The new members will be anxious to prove themselves, and us old members will get to play the part of experienced insider. The new site has been up for 3 days... of the over 4,000 original DEWlabs members only about 450 have logged in and renewed their profile. The shipment of fresh blood begins to arrive today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Social Media : 8 Ways to Get on Track

Guest Post by Danielle Hatfield

Before you travel to the 40 destinations arranged for you on this trip, check your baggage and Register Your Username on Social Media Sites.

Find a comfortable seat and enjoy each stop . . .

Stop 1 - Decide on What Social M
edia Channels Best Fit Your Current Needs / Skill Set

Top Social Media Sites
How Many Social Media Channels Do You Use For Your Brand? « Jeffbullas’s Blog
List Of Top Social Media Network Sites
Ning | Create and discover Ning Social Networks for your interests
Hukilau Proposes a New Way to Produce Entertainment

Stop 2 - Have A Clear Goal In Mind With Your Engagement And Develop A Strategy

Social Media for Business: The Dos & Don'ts of Sharing
Social Media Marketing Campaigns: How to Set Goals and Define Your Target Market
HOW TO: Manage Social Media Goals and Expectations
What Are Your Social Media Goals? - Search Engine Watch (SEW)

Stop 3 - Be Consistent With Your Brand

The No. 1 Rule / Brand Consistency
Branding Beyond Marketing - How Company Branding Extends Beyond Marketing
Building Brand Consistency: Materials Checklist
Brand: Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

Stop 4 - Find And Follow/Friend/Fan Those Who Are Using Social Media Well

PR Communications: Social Media Leaders Identified Through Engagement
40 of the Best Twitter Brands and the People Behind Them
Social Media for Business - Who's Doing it Well & How
Find a Mentor on New Social Networking Site

Stop 5 - Connect With People Who Share Common Interests / Goals / Industry / Location

How 2 Connect Using Social Media
30 Top LinkedIn Groups for Entrepreneurs, eMarketers, and Social Media Enthusiasts
Localtweeps :: Help localize your Twittersphere!
Using Social Media to Connect with Other Entrepreneurs
People Who Need People: How 11 intrepid users get the most out of social media
Chad Ochocinco connected with fan through social media

Stop 6 - Devote Time *Everyday* To Invest In Your Online Relationships - Get To Know Your Fans/Followers

How Much Time Should You Spend On Social Media?
Do you have time for social media?
How Much Time Should I Spend On Social Media

Stop 7 - Host/Attend Real Life Networking Events

Find Networking Events - directory of local networking events
Business Networking Events Finders | Find Business Networking ...
Social Media Meetup Groups - Social Media Meetups
Top 10 Social Networks to Find Local Business Events
Making the Most of Networking Events - How to Work a Room

Stop 8 - Invite Fans/Followers/Industry Leaders To Be A Guest Blogger Or Offer To Guest Post

How to be a Good Guest Blogger
Guest Blogger Guidelines
How to Find a Guest Blogger for your Blog
Guest Blogging - Become an Expert in Your Field
Guest Blogging: The Ultimate Guide
Guest Blogging 101

Guest Post by Danielle Hatfield: Chief Dirt Digger at Experience Farm.

Guest post end, blog owner comments begin: Who is Danielle Hatfield? I bumped into @dhatfield on Twitter one day while looking for experts in social media. I was impressed by her site, daniellehatfield.com (simple, yet so artistic and personal), so I started Tweeting to her about bacon and social media. After multiple tweets, DMs, and emails (and Googling her name) I can honestly say that she is one of the *nicest* people I have met in my social networking adventures. I receive messages like "@Dewlabs great! . . . And yes, I am from "those" Hatfield's. I have the temper to prove it. ;)" and "stop. stop that right now I am baconless!! . . . maybe bacon should have been the one to come up with "it'll tickle yore innards' ::sigh::"

From what I can gather online, Danielle started Experience Farm "We provide the best shit to fertilize your brand!" with shifter.tv just this last January. She lives near Greensboro North Carolina, and ran her last half marathon in under 2 hours - or so I thought, she just emailed me that this other running Danielle must be a doppelgänger "the only thing that could get me running is a Neese's sausage truck, the only thing that could make me stop is a biscuit." Danielle is so smooth with social networking, that even though we haven't met I would be comfortable chasing down an ice cream truck (or any other food bearing vehicle) with her. On the way we could talk about bacon, coffee, and social media.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Interview With DEWmocracy Event Participants

Event: Dec 13th - Dec 15th 2009

Mountain Dew payed for two Dew Labs members to fly out to New York for a special media event in NYC. Their account of the event has been going down, question and answer style, on the Dew Labs discussion boards. Some of their answers give interesting insight into the way Mountain Dew brand people and other marketers view the Dew Labs community, and vice-versa. I have quoted their responses exactly as they read on the site. The two members that made it to NYC were Dewmaster (John) and Kingofhitz0 (Ben). You can hear an audio recording of John explaining how his experience having a name he thought up winning the Twitter race and being called to go to NYC "was one of the greatest moments in [his] life" here on blog-talk radio.

Q: How long were you out there, and what type of hotel did they put you up in? Did any of the original 7 flavors stand out to you making you wish they got to this stage of Dewmocracy?

A (John):yea I had a nice hotel, i stayed 2 days, yea there are some of the original 7 i liked better then white out and distortion
A (Ben):yeah, like dewmaster said, we stayed two nights. we stayed in the w hotel* at union square... reallllll nice, modern, and contemporary hotel.
the dew brand team told us they went nuts with the creation of the seven flavors, adding in a little bit of everything to make the flavors... but none were more distinct to me than 509. they were DEFINITELY worthy of being in the final 3, but i think the have the best 3 already.

*The W at Union square is pretty nice, the cheapest rooms go for around $350

Q: What was it like? What type of people came? I assume you got all the Dew you could drink while you were there? How much Dew DID you drink?

A (John): It was very fun, there were people from the brand team there, and it was set up in 7 different stage, each stage representing the making of the new dews.

There were a bunch of people from the media there, I'm not sure who was all there but we did get interviewed.

We got all the dew we could drink, including the original 7 flavors.

It was fun, I had at least 10 cans of dew, most of it 509

A (Ben): it was incredible! there was a bunch of media there... everyone from twitter media with phone interviews, to television camera crews, to newspaper press.
and you know there was enough DEW to go around! personally, i drank 3 or 4 cans of typhoon haha, but i'm not sure how much dewmaster drank... i'll let him answer that one.

Q: Have your interview responses shown up anywhere yet? What type of questions did the media people ask? How were you treated... like a peer or like a specimen of marketing phenomenon?

I am just really curious about the relationship that we, as Dew Labs members, have with marketers. It really is a curious thing. The Mountain Dew brand people are really, genuinely, nice people... were the other marketers just as nice? I ask because to market to a certain population - like us - the marketing and brand people have to understand our habits and general personality features, and you would think that this understanding might make being social, even friendly with us easier. However, if you read marketing research publications that profile certain demographics, entire generations of people are abstracted so that they aren't really people anymore but a bag of characteristics to be exploited. So, on the other hand, I would think that this forced abstraction would make being social and relating to us all the more difficult... like we are just a sample or a statistic. See what I am saying? My question is: Did the marketing and brand people there (other then the Dew team of course) treat you like real people or a sample?

How much Dew did the others drink? I saw in the media hub pictures Brett sippin' back on a diet Dew. But I also saw a bunch of people drinking water.

A (John): They asked us about our experience throughout this entire promotion, what our role was, what we thought about, and our opinion about dew labs.

Everyone there was awesome, all the brand team and everyone there was really cool and treated us like normal people, sort of like friends, the event was very enjoyable, with this me/king would talk about our thought process through tasting the samples, coming up with the name/descriptor, what we like about dew labs, the twitter race strategies, and why we like dew and chose typhoon, so we came up with what we said on our own, there was nothing written for us to say, we came up with what we said for the interviews. So to sum up we pretty much said what we went through for both the presentations and the interview, we also talked about ourselves, i.e how much dew we drink a day, stuff like that.

There were a lot of people drinking dew there I was one of them(about 10 cans)

I haven't found any actual interviews, I did find one thing though where something I said was quoted, so if anyone finds any interviews, let me know.

A (Ben): i know interviews we gave are out there, but i don't have any leads as to where they are. the only place i would check for those are on dewmocracymediahub.com (which is a site set up specifically to cater to the media who attended the event). the questions i got asked were typically related to my role in the DEWlabs community, like personal achievements or contributions, as well as my history with drinking DEW.

considering our role was to explain how we were involved within the dewlabs community, we were treated more as peers than anything. i mean, after each run through of the event, the media understood that we were more than just some average DEW drinkers who had a small say in making the next DEW. they knew that we had a direct relationship with the DEW brand team, so in that sense, the questions were more "peer" related rather than just a marketing tool. And forgot to mention... yeah, lots of people were drinking DEW. when you've got access to a stash of it, can you really say no? i know i can't. haha

Q: So this sounds like an event where people come and see a demonstration or presentation of sorts, and you guys were part of that presentation. It sounds awesome. I won't lie, I am totally jealous. I also applied to be a council member; I would love to chill with the Dew team holding a cold WhiteOut in my hand.

How long did the presentations last? Did both presentations and the practice turn out the same?

What did you guys do before and after the event? Was there time to just hang out in NYC, or were you pretty busy? Did you eat authentic NY style pizza? Who picked you up from the airport, Angie? What was Brett like... all business?

I know I ask a lot of questions, I just think it is pretty awesome that Mountain Dew is doing this. It is sort of soda history in the making, and I want to know how it is all going down.

A (John): Yes it was a lot of fun, I guess we are going to end up voting for the council members ^^, hope I make it.

Each presentation lasted about 20min I think, they were the same presentation each time, different media companies came at different times.

I hung out at the hotel, went to the seinfeld restaurant, walked around times square, went to the rangers game, got ny style pizza. I got picked up by a transportation company, I forget the name.

Brett was a really cool guy.

A (Ben): i completely agree chemantics, this is soda history in the making! dewmaster pretty much covered everything there, but i'll throw some of my views on it too.

20 minutes is about right, and there were three run-thrus of the event for different media personnel. we really didn't have a practice run-thru of the event, it was more of a briefing, because like we said somewhere on here already, DEW didn't tell us what to say, they let us run our own show. personally, i went up to times square, down to lower manhattan to see the statue of liberty and ellis island, then ran into wall street. i ate at espnzone and the carnegie deli, but didn't get around to some ny style pizza... unfortunately. brett was a cool guy. he definitely didn't come off as a strictly business kinda guy, he was more laid-back-and-have-fun-while-being-productive kinda guy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Social Media Marketing: How Pepsi Got It Right

Social Media Marketing: How Pepsi Got It Right

Social media marketing campaigns are proving to be goldmines rich with customer engagement and insight that companies wouldn’t likely have otherwise. Companies like PepsiCo are going to extensive lengths to foster this type of collaboration with fans, and the payoff has been big.

The company’s Mountain Dew division is several stages into its DEWmocracy campaign — a plan to launch a new Mountain Dew flavor with the public’s involvement at all levels of the process, and PepsiCo also just launched the Pepsi Refresh Project on January 13th. Rather than spending money on Super Bowl television ads this year, the company is spending $20 million on a social media campaign.

Jay Baer, founder of the social media strategy company Convince & Convert, said brands are realizing they need to market for the long haul. “I do think it’s a good move for Pepsi. I don’t know if every brand can pull it off,” he said.

The Pepsi Refresh Project and the DEWmocracy campaigns are part of a crowdsourcing effort that’s part of the larger PepsiCo plan to more closely integrate consumers with the brand. “Driving consumer interest and engagement takes imagination and often a certain amount of reinvention, so it’s fair to say we’re rethinking everything we do from product development to marketing campaigns across our entire portfolio,” said Bart Casabona, a Mountain Dew spokesman.

A Closer Look at Mountain Dew’s Social Media Campaign

The first DEWmocracy campaign launched in 2007. This inaugural DEWmocracy effort let consumers choose Dew’s new flavor, color, name and graphics, and resulted in more than 470,000 people voting and an overall 1 million people taking part in some phase of the process, according to the company’s DEWmocracy media site. The winning new flavor, Voltage, hit store shelves in January 2009.

Brett O’Brien, Mountain Dew’s marketing director, said that for the first campaign a site was built for people to interact with, which made sense at that time.

Fast forward to July 2009, when the second DEWmocracy campaign launched. The multi-stage effort tasks die-hard Mountain Dew fans to narrow seven sodas down to one final new flavor that will become a permanent part of the Mountain Dew family, using social media platforms 12seconds.tv (12seconds.tv), Twitter (Twitter), Facebook (Facebook) and YouTube (YouTube) in the process.

O’Brien said that with the explosion of social networking, they felt it was best to interact with people where they are.

Flavor Nations Play a Large Role

The second iteration of the Mountain Dew campaign is fueled by the 4,000-strong DEW Labs crew, an online community of die-hard fans. The DEW Labs are divided up into three Flavor Nations for the three Mountain Dew soda finalists: Typhoon, WhiteOut and Distortion. Once the three flavors debut in April, the Flavor Nations must talk up their flavor and get people to vote for it to become the permanent new Mountain Dew soda. That one winning new permanent soda flavor will debut on Labor Day, according to the company’s DEWmocracy media site.

O’Brien said the several stages involved are really part of the normal product innovation process. He said if they were going to be totally transparent the whole time in launching a new Mountain Dew flavor, they needed their customers to be there the whole time.

Every part of the campaign involves the fans and the public — from picking flavor names, to voting on the best user-submitted ad campaign.

Collaboration With Consumers

“What we’re calling it [is] collective intelligence,” O’Brien said. “It’s less about crowdsourcing, but more about collaboration.” PepsiCo looks at DEWmocracy, which has literally been driven by word of mouth, as a way of doing business rather than an ad campaign, he said, and the most important thing to recognize is the passion consumers feel for Mountain Dew is like nothing that’s out there.

According to O’Brien, PepsiCo looks at social media as the best way to get direct dialog with their fans and for the company to hear from those fans without filters. “It’s been great for us to have this really unique dialogue that we normally wouldn’t have,” he said. “It really has opened our eyes up.”

Convince & Convert’s Baer said the DEWmocracy campaign fits with Mountain Dew’s brand and customer profile. He said giving customers ownership of the brand is a fantastic idea.

“What they’re trading off is reach for depth and they’re trading short-term impact for long-term impact,” he said. Baer sees this the process of brands asking customers to craft better products or services as a trend. He pointed out that companies aren’t just soliciting customer input, but they’re putting it into practice. And some business decisions are now based solely on customer feedback.

“To me, that’s tremendously exciting,” he said. “To me, that’s the social media story.”

Written by Leah Betancourt and originally published here on Mashable.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Fight For Typhoon

By Ben P., Dew Labs Member

So the Dew Labs is going into its final stretch before the general public get to ultimately decide. I have been part of this Dewmocracy II campaign every step of the way. As a winner of the Dew Labs Challenge, I was lucky to be one of fifty to receive 7 can of never released Dew, as well as a bunch of other awesome things. (including a one of a kind piece of art, and a Dew branded FlipMino) The directions that came with the kit were simple; get a bunch of your friends together and taste these flavors, record it, and tell the Dew team which flavors should ultimately go on to be the three competing sodas. The flavors ranged from sweet berry, to sour apple, and even a few strange ones (including a mango one.) None of them, in my opinion were “bad,” but there were a few that I sure wouldn’t buy religiously. My favorite, by far was flavor 231, and I was very happy to find out that this flavor has been chosen to be one of the three. Now, months later, a small box is delivered to my house. Inside are three potentially new flavors of Mountain Dew. I put the silver, unmarked except for the printed number on the side (eg 231,509, 493.) I tried these flavors, and so did my family, and to my amazement, 231 was no longer my favorite. I knew that next time I logged on to Dew Labs, I would have to choose my flavor nation, and when I did, I clicked 509 (now officially called Typhoon.) I’m not sure what was so appealing about Typhoon, but as soon as I got my first sip, I was amazed. The berry flavor (and do not assume because it is berry it is a copy of Voltage) was something like I never tasted before. It was sweet, but that is a characteristic of all Dews, but it was so flavorful and even the after-taste was enjoyable. That is where 231 lacked. It had this lingering sour after-taste, and 493 was too similar to regular Mountain Dew, in my opinion. So when spring rolls around, I know which flavor I will be campaigning for, and that flavor, is Mountain Dew Typhoon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Best in Class" Marketing Using Social Media

MediaTech Blog Post:
"Best in Class" Marketing Using Social Media
Originally Published HERE by Peter Yang

What do tampons, soft drinks, and the “best job in the world” have in common?

They’re all examples of marketing campaigns that effectively use social media to establish a direct dialogue with the consumer. With numerous media formats and multiple devices competing for the consumer’s attention, it’s more difficult than ever for today’s brand managers to connect with their target audience. But companies such as P&G, Tourism Queensland, and Pepsi have found success by using the power of social media to drive engagement, relevancy, and results.

P&G’s Beinggirl.com: The Last Thing that 12-14 Year Old Girls Want to Talk about is Tampons

Imagine for a moment that you’re the brand manager for P&G’s feminine care products. Your target audience is 12-14 year old girls. The last thing that they want to talk about is tampons.

Instead of using traditional TV advertising, P&G created Beinggirl.com. Beinggirl.com is not so much a community about tampons as it is a community about the problems of being a 12-14 year old girl. Girls can participate in discussion groups, read articles, enter contests, fill out polls, and ask a trained psychologist questions. Topics include relationship advice, diet tips, and stories about growing up. Ads for P&G’s Tampax and Always products are visible but do not dominate the site. They exist in the corner of Beinggirl.com’s home page, in a section labeled “free samples,” and below articles such as “Boys and Dating…Why Is It All So Complicated?”
P&G Beinggirl.com's home page

P&G Beinggirl.com's home page

The result? Beinggirl.com was 4x as effective as a similarly priced TV marketing campaign. The site generates over 2 million unique visitors per month and has been duplicated by P&G in 21 different countries.

P&G found success by building a social community to establish a direct dialogue with its consumers. In 2000, Beinggirl.com was filled with dry educational material about puberty. Although puberty is something that teenage girls think about, the site initially didn’t generate much traffic. Perplexed, P&G polled the site’s users to list the types of content that they desired and found that teenage girls were – not surprisingly – also very interested in music.

In response, P&G partnered with Sony BMG to feature recording artists on Beinggirl.com. In addition to being educational, the site had also become fun. In the words of David Knox, a brand manager for P&G’s teenage beauty division: “Teens wear their brands as a badge, you can’t sell them lipstick because it’s long lasting or deodorant because it keeps them dry. But if they associate the brand with the first time they saw Teddy Geiger’s eyes — well, you can’t buy that kind of thing!”

A visit to Beinggirl.com today reveals two important facts. First, P&G has learned from the site’s users – links to download free songs from popular artists are featured directly on Beinggirl.com’s home page. Second, P&G is still learning from the site’s users – the same home page also features a four part consumer poll about pantiliners.

Tourism Queensland’s IslandReefJob.com: “The Best Job in the World” Gets International Attention

Imagine that you’re the brand manager for the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef – hundreds of islands in Australia with pristine beaches, coral reefs, and an abundance of wildlife. Your target audience is tourists from eight key international markets. The problem? When tourists think about an island vacation, they think about Hawaii, the Maldives and the Caribbeans – not Australia. Oh, and you only have a budget of $1.2M.

Tourism Queensland’s hired ad agency MS&L to launch its campaign, which focused on islandreefjob.com. Islandreefjob.com was a branded site that advertised “The Best Job in the World,” a year’s stay at the Great Barrier Reef for free. With a tiny budget, MS&L used traditional newspaper classified ads and online job listings launch the campaign in key markets. Here’s one such ad:
Best Job in the World newspaper ad

Best Job in the World newspaper ad

These ads brought consumers to the core website, where they were treated to stunning imagery from the Great Barrier Reef. The website also encouraged consumers to submit videos to apply for the position. To build an online community, submitted videos could be easily shared on popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The best videos found thousands of fans on YouTube:

Word of mouth spread, attracting the attention of major news outlets. Everyone from CNN to BBC to Time magazine began talking about “The Best Job in the World.”

The results were phenomenal. With a budget of only $1.2M, “The Best Job in the World” campaign generated over $300M in free media coverage from major news outlets. 34,684 video job applications were submitted from 197 countries to Islandreefjob.com, which had 6.8M monthly unique visitors at its height. In total, Tourism Queensland estimates that over 3 billion people worldwide were touched by the campaign.

Pepsi’s Dewmocracy 2.0: The First Soft Drink Created Entirely By Its Fans

Imagine that you’re the brand manager in charge of introducing a new flavor of Mountain Dew. Your responsibilities include choosing the next Dew’s flavor, color, name, and graphics. You’re given seven flavors to choose from.

Dewmocracy 2.0 is a campaign that begins and ends with the consumer. Every aspect of the new flavor’s product development will be decided by Mountain Dew’s most passionate fans. To achieve this goal, Dewmocracy 2.0 takes full advantage of social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, 12seconds.tv, and YouTube. The campaign is being rolled out in 7 stages.
Dewmocracy 2.0 home page

Dewmocracy 2.0 home page
Stage 1: From Seven Flavors to Three

Dewmocracy 2.0 kicked off in July 2009 with a traditional road tour – a team of trucks that traveled across 12 states giving consumers the chance to sample seven new Mountain Dew flavors. Visitors were encouraged to describe the flavors that they liked or disliked in video booths at each truck stop. These videos were uploaded directly to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. A total of 1.5M people attended the road tours, and three flavors were chosen based on their votes.
Stage 2: Online Community Creation

Stage 2 kicked off with the creation of DEW Labs, an exclusive online social community for Mountain Dew fans. Consumers were invited to DEW Labs only if they picked Mountain Dew as their top beverage of choice and drank it several times a day. DEW Labs members received samples for each of the three flavors and joined a Flavor Nation, a mini community dedicated to championing the flavor that they enjoyed the most.
Stage 3 and 4: Choosing a Color and Name

Each Flavor Nation was then asked to choose a color for their favorite flavor via Mountain Dew’s Facebook fan page. They were also encouraged to submit product names, which were then reviewed by Mountain Dew’s marketing team. The most popular names were given their own Twitter pages. Dew fans were encouraged to become followers of these pages if they liked the names. White Out, Distortion, and Typhoon were the ultimate names selected.
Stage 5 and 6: Designing a Label and TV Campaign

The next task was to design a label for each drink. A challenge was sent out to designers across the country and hundreds of submissions were received. Voters on Facebook narrowed down these submissions to three designers. Each designer then worked with Dew Labs members over conference calls and live chats to come up with a design unique to each flavor.
A similar process was used to determine the ad agencies that would work on a TV campaign for the new flavors.
Stage 7: Product Launch

This year, Mountain Dew will use both social networking and traditional media to conduct a two-tiered product rollout. Once the three flavors hit store shelves in April, fans could rally friends, family and the rest of the country to vote for their favorite flavor online. The flavor with the most votes will join the permanent Dew family on Labor Day.


By giving consumers almost complete control over the development of a new soft drink, Dewmocracy 2.0 is perhaps the most extreme example of leveraging social media to establish a direct dialogue with consumers. Beinggirl.com and “The Best Job in the World” have already demonstrated the impact that such campaigns can have. Although it’s more difficult than ever to reach today’s consumer, social media provides an opportunity for brand managers to communicate directly with their audience in previously unimaginable ways.