Keep reading to learn more about DEWmocracy 2, the campaign to discover the next flavor of Mtn Dew!
Back in 2008, the folks at Mountain Dew launched what they called their DEWmocracy campaign, something we covered very closely here at BevReview. The end result was 3 flavors deployed in Summer 2008 — Mountain Dew Supernova, Mountain Dew Revolution, and Mountain Dew Voltage — and placed to a vote by fans, with Voltage winning in August 2008 (personally, we still think Revolution was the best option).
The basis of that original DEWmocracy program was built around an online role playing game developed by WhittmanHart Interactive, which featured quests and other tasks with a storyline about an overbearing governmental with corporate control resulting in the loss of creativity. Eventually this translated into segmentation of the players into 3 clans to support the three flavors that had risen to the top.
That initial take on DEWmocracy was quite heavy-handed, in my opinion, for a result of 3 flavors that were probably predestined by PepsiCo from the start. All this fantasy storyline stuff, along with the lobbying for flavors… just funny. Don't get me wrong, anytime we can see some new flavors of a soft drink show up, we're all ears… but to think that the "regular folks" really had a say in what drinks were chosen overall is still hard to believe. Then again, we were stuck with Voltage, so what do we know? Sometimes, even though it seems like the "community engagement" thing to do, having the public determine your product doesn't always work out for the best. Just look at the names of minor league baseball teams across the country. Enough said. (If PepsiCo would just bring back Mountain Dew Pitch Black and Pitch Black 2, we could do away with all this DEWmocracy foolishness and actually get a good flavor — our opinion, of course!)
The Dew folks must have thought enough of the idea to bring the concept back, and in 2009 we saw the DEWmocracy 2 campaign start up. This version had a substantially different approach (and most likely a much smaller dollar figure attached). This time around, it had a definite marketing research feel with the deployment of "Dew Labs", an invitation-only panel format that requested feedback, allowed you to participate in tasks, and again, employed a voting mechanism. I was a part of this panel, though spent most of my time passively observing to see how everyone else reacted to the experience.
It started with a traveling tour that allowed fans in 17 different cities the opportunity taste a variety of flavors, with a select few being mailed kits of drinks. From this sampling, 3 flavors were selected to advance: #231, #509, and #493. These code numbers were eventually assigned flavor descriptions and colors: Lime Blasted Dew (Deep Green), Punch of Tropical Dew (Cloudy Red), and Smooth Citrus Dew (White) accordingly.
Panelists were encouraged to join what Dew called "Flavor Nations," which led to the actual naming of the products. The names that were considered included the following:
#231 Lime Blasted Dew (Deep Green)
#509 Punch of Tropical Dew (Cloudy Red)
#493 Smooth Citrus Dew (White)
- White Out
Finally, and I'm quoting here, "Mountain Dew sent out a challenge to designers, art schools, artists and Dew fans to create a look for each flavor." Finally, this viral approach resulted in fan-made videos to help promote the individual flavors. Which brings us to the last phase, which is deploying the 3 flavors to market, having fans vote on them, and awarding a winner on Labor Day, September 6, 2010.
We'll be taking a look at these 3 flavors via individual reviews soon, but to wrap up this overview of DEWmocracy 2, here's the official press release:
The Mountain Dew DEWmocracy 2 Campaign Empowers Brand Loyalists Nationwide to Create and Launch the Next New DEW
Fans Develop Marketing and Advertising Campaigns Supporting New Products
PURCHASE, N.Y., April 20, 2010 /PRNewswire — PepsiCo's Mountain Dew is once again tapping the collective intelligence of its most passionate consumers to help write a new chapter in the beverage's history and elevate the premier lifestyle brand to new heights. Beginning today, Mountain Dew will launch nationwide three new DEW flavor innovations – Mountain Dew(R) Distortion(TM), Mountain Dew(R) White Out(TM) and Mountain Dew(R) Typhoon(TM) – that were developed in partnership with consumers during the brand's DEWmocracy 2 campaign:
- Mountain Dew Distortion – DEW blasted with lime
- Mountain Dew Typhoon – DEW with a punch of tropical flavors
- Mountain Dew White Out – DEW infused with a smooth citrus taste
DEWmocracy 2, a seven-stage, 12-month, consumer-driven campaign launched in July 2009, enabled more than 4,000 of the DEW brand's most loyal fans, referred to as DEW Labs(TM) members, to co-create three new DEW beverages. Leveraging a variety of social media networks and tools, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the brand and consumers collaborated on all areas of product development including flavor, color, name, and package design.
DEW fans remain engaged as the three new DEW products begin hitting store shelves nationwide this month. In addition to having a role in creating the TV ads and online media planning and buying process, fans will lead the charge in grassroots initiatives that will drive awareness and trial of the new DEW products.
"DEWmocracy 2 has re-affirmed our belief that DEW consumers want a voice in and want to help shape the future of the Mountain Dew franchise," said Frank Cooper, senior vice president, chief consumer engagement officer, PepsiCo Americas Beverages. "By maintaining an open dialogue with our consumers through an intense, year-long collaborative project, we've offered them an opportunity to leave their imprint on a brand they truly love and have solidified an even stronger relationship with fans who matter most."
Let the Voting Begin: Three New Flavors Vie for a Place in History as the Next New DEW
The three contending Mountain Dew beverages will be on shelves for eight weeks through June 14, providing fans with the opportunity to taste each of the flavors and cast a vote for their favorite at www.dewmocracy.com. The winning flavor will become a member of the DEW family on Labor Day 2010.
During the voting phase, "Flavor Nations," comprised of DEW Labs members who are divided into three Nations supporting each of the new flavor innovation, will be campaigning for their favorite flavor to win the permanent spot. Starting May 1, members of each Flavor Nation, working with MTV Networks, will begin cross-country road tours, organizing skateboarding competitions, art exhibits inspired by DEW and samplings at concerts and sporting events, among other activities. Their goal: to rally friends, family and all DEW lovers to show their support by participating and posting photos and video content online, going online to vote for their favorite flavor, and engaging others to sample and vote.
Fan-Driven Ad and Marketing Campaigns
In the Fall of 2009, Mountain Dew invited ad agencies and individuals from across the country to submit 12-second video ads. Consumers voted on the spots they felt best captured the essence of the DEW brand, and the DEW Labs communities then selected their three winners: Crashtest Productions (Typhoon), Dewdadew (White Out) and Animaticmedia (Distortion).
Since January 2010, the advertising finalists have collaborated with the brand and individual Flavor Nations to develop the three 15-second television ad spots that will launch to support the three flavors on April 26.
For the first time in company history, consumers also have played an active role in shaping and influencing the paid media planning and buying process. Potential media partners, including some that were introduced to the brand by consumers, were required to pitch their proposals to DEW Labs members alongside the brand, again remaining true to the DEW brand's DNA of collaboration between brand and consumer. Online outlets, including The Onion, CollegeHumor, CraveOnline and Funny or Die, put together media proposals and videos for each Flavor Nation that showcased the culture of each online partner. The online DEWmocracy campaign will debut April 19, 2010.
All three Mountain Dew flavors are available from April 19 through June 14, 2010, at mass, drug and retail outlets nationwide. This year's DEWmocracy 2 winner will join Mountain Dew(R) Voltage(TM), the latest addition to the Mountain Dew family. Mountain Dew Voltage won the DEWmocracy 1 campaign in 2008 that relied on an immersive story-based online game to develop a unique Mountain Dew beverage and saw more than 1 million people participate in the product creation and selection process.
Please visit www.dewmocracy.com to vote on your favorite DEWmocracy 2 flavor. The power is in your hands; let your voice be heard.