Dew Voltage Takes Digital Approach

NEW YORK Mountain Dew is hoping its new berry-flavored drink will be “everywhere” on the Web. This week, the PepsiCo-owned brand debuted its “Voltage everywhere” online push directing Dew fans to Here, consumers are rewarded with points for virally spreading the word about the product and interacting with the brand. Points can be redeemed for logoed swag, snowboards, an Xbox 360 and other prizes.

It is only fitting that a product born from the Web community is marketing itself primarily to the Web community. Mountain Dew Voltage was selected, from among three flavors, by 42 percent of 1.6 million people who visited last summer. Voltage began hitting shelves earlier this month.

A far cry from the old-school under-the-cap games, 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.

They can also play “The Motherboard” online game, take part in polls and “electrify” themselves using their Webcams (there is a special effect that makes it look like blue volts are surrounding them). Consumers who are signed on to the site get bonus points if the “Voltage power sphere” hits 3,000 visitors for the day.

“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.

A mobile component also is 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,” said Dietrich. 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.