Mountain Dew welcomed a limited-time-only product into its permanent brand portfolio, and it wanted gamers to take note. It created a campaign to support the relaunch of its MTN DEW AMP GAME FUEL (MDAGF) that included video content, sponsorships, and social media.
Objective and Context:
Mountain Dew has an established history with gamers and esports enthusiasts. The brand had previously promoted the soft drink Game Fuel as a limited time offer, but Mountain Dew was ready to launch MTN DEW AMP GAME FUEL (MDAGF) as an endemic brand tailored to the esports community. The product is specially crafted for gamers with theanine, caffeine, and vitamins, which in combination have been shown to improve accuracy and alertness. The can is resealable and it has a tactile grip so gamers can enjoy the drink while they play.
The business objective was to relaunch MDAGF in 2019, driving success in the U.S. market with $80–100 million in sales in 2019. The media budget was $24.5 million. The marketing objective was to drive awareness and comprehension of the new product among the gaming audience. The communication objective was to show core gamers that MDAGF can improve gaming performance.
The brand needed to reach, educate, and engage an audience of hardcore gamers who would benefit from the MDAGF attributes. The audience is defined as "Core Gamers." They play console or PC games 10 or more hours a week. They are millennials and tech superusers who rely on the internet for many daily activities such as ordering food or groceries, conducting banking, and connecting with friends. These gamers span a wide age range, but skew toward 18- to 34-year old males.
Creative concepts were developed to highlight how MDAGF can enhance the gaming experience. Content was cut into snackable videos and displayed across targeted TV and social platforms to capture the audience's attention and highlight the product's key attributes.
Gaming partners enabled Mountain Dew to reach audiences in contextually relevant environments, such as Twitch, YouTube, and gaming news publishing sites. High-impact ad units were used to take over all real estate on key home pages during major events, driving further consideration through trusted sources. First-to-market opportunities allowed audiences to seamlessly add the drink to their Amazon baskets via influencer streams and allowed Mountain Dew to deliver personalized dynamic ad units.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The before the product launched, the campaign kicked off with content and activations via a sponsored team and a high-profile esports event. The product was integrated in live broadcasts on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and other social channels. An on-site sampling activation at an event put cans in consumers' hands. The sponsored team and league's social channels amplified the message. Mountain Dew built anticipation and drove pre-orders with content from top gaming talent.
TV commercials, live streams, video series, and social posts from teams and leagues helped drive product awareness. Programmatic and direct digital buys helped put the product in contextually relevant advertising environments.
To make an impact with the core PC and console gaming audience, Mountain Dew built an addressable audience segment through a variety of tech and data sources. The gamer audience was constructed through data segments, including triggers related to:
Creative was cut with mobile and social in mind. Social partners enabled the brand to scale on mobile with over 95 percent of Facebook and Twitter serving in the mobile environment. High-impact mobile units were utilized on gaming sites, bringing the product to the forefront.
To date the campaign has surpassed expectations across all brand metrics and partners. Before any media launched, esports partnerships contributed to MDAGF taking the No. 1 spot on Amazon's top selling energy beverage page. At the time, the product was only available for pre-order.
MDAGF was featured prominently at 10 major esports events, getting in front of a total of 1.01 billion broadcast viewers. The campaign generated over 3.2 million views across 16 esports team-produced original content pieces, and 32 million branded impressions across social.
Twitch streamers naturally wove MDAGF into their broadcasts and provided exclusive product discounts to their fans, yielding an additional 2.4 million unique viewers. A partnership with three top video game titles resulted in more than 2.7 million unique in-game redemptions.
Additional results to date: