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.”

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