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 (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.

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