Mountain Dew: Real Heroes



Client: PepsiCo
Product: Mountain Dew
Category: Food, Beverage, Tobacco
Agency: Mindshare
Country: India
Award Entry Year: 2015


Campaign Summary

Carbonated soft drinks are shaping up to be the next big thing in rural India, and Mountain Dew, the #1 brand in the PepsiCo portfolio, had seen 70 percent of its volume come from the rural areas. However, a recent slowdown led to concerns about reinvigorating its fan base.


Objective and Context

The challenge for a rural population is that power cuts can hamper the effectiveness of television commercials. Other methods were required to grow volumes by 20 percent and drive key attributes of this “popular drink for daring people” while raising intention to purchase among the rural audience.

The target audience was men ages 15-34, living in the rural areas of India’s Uttar Pradesh and Haryana states. They typically want to work hard for a better future. They know they can do it, but they are often confronted by fears that hold them back.

Mountain Dew stands for celebrating the triumph of the individual over their fears. The brand has always celebrated extreme sports athletes and edgy risk takers. The target audience embraces this spirit, but how could Mindshare show them the brand cares and wants to help them win? With TV penetration low and power cuts of 12 to 15 hours per day, traditional media did not provide the right type of outreach. So mobile was the best option.


Creative Strategy

Mountain Dew wanted its fans to do their best and overcome their fears. Mindshare knew that in rural areas, celebrities are not as influential as people’s peers.

Choosing four local heroes, Mindshare highlighted how they exemplified Mountain Dew’s brand values of overcoming fears and succeeding against adversity.The stories were ones that everyone could relate to: real life, real stories. They resonated strongly with the audience, and the agency amplified them in the media.

A lead story was the tale of Arunima, who following the loss of her leg decided to climb Mount Everest. With this story as a lead, the brand put out a call for more inspirational stories via Mountain Dew’s Facebook page, Twitter account and Web site. There also was also print, radio and mobile ads.

Throughout this process, we captured the imagination with a “NaamBanteHain RiskSe” hashtag, meaning: “Taking on risk to create a mark in history.”

As the entries rolled in, Mountain Dew created videos around some of best. These included high school student Shital Mahajan skydiving over the North Pole (642,319 views), Satyendra Verma jumping off a 450-ft building in Delhi (744,977 views) and five software engineers who quit their jobs to form Ghost Ryders, a motorcycle stunt-riding team (5,592,608 views).

The agency used OutBound Dialers (OBD) to disseminate audio stories, which push messaging to all types of phones, and don’t require data. It also used Rocketalk, a mobile-only open social network that’s hugely popular in rural areas of India, where audiences interact with each other around interests.

Mindshare seeded stories on this platform and geo-targeted the audience with video content. Other solutions included VUCLIP, a mobile-only video platform, used to seed brand stories and target audiences based on their locations and interests.

From analysis of Facebook, the agency saw that consumers were heavy users of the social media network, so the campaign used its “Click to Missed Call” function to disseminate audio stories. The ad feature on Facebook allows users to click on the ad to generate a call-back from the brand through a missed call.



The videos engaged more than three million people, with more than 11 million views and more than 200,000 shares.The campaign period saw Mountain Dew’s market share increase 170 percent in volume -- versus the target of 20 percent -- over the previous month, increasing faster than category growth.

Brand attributes also grew as follows:

  • The resonance of the theme “Drink for daring people” increased by seven percent vs. the target of five percent. 
  • “Brand that is popular” went up by five percent vs. the target of four percent. 
  • Intention to purchase increased by five percent vs. the target of three percent among non-metro audiences.




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