Out of all the social media content strategies and brand voices you could pick, you’d have a hard time going zanier than Mountain Dew.
You may not be aware of it, but they’ve had a pretty crazy brand image since they first started making TV commercials of hyperactive hillbillies who looked like they should be filling jugs with three ‘x’ marks on them.
You could make the argument that Mountain Dew’s brand voice is a loud, schizophrenic, mess of ideas and sheer lunacy. You could also make the argument that they have mastered speaking to a group of people who just want to be entertained in an amusing and unexpected way.
This article is assuming the second option…
Keeping it weird in 140 characters or less
When I first discovered how odd Mountain Dew are, it was on Twitter in August of 2014. They were creating a video series starring a little lizard with Evel Knievel tendencies.
From the videos they created GIFs for Twitter:
— Mountain Dew® (@MountainDew) August 25, 2014
— Mountain Dew® (@MountainDew) August 27, 2014
His schtick was doing ‘xtreme’ stunts from household items.
I’ve been following them ever since then to see what silly content they come up with next, and they never disappoint.
Perhaps their best content on Twitter is the content you don’t see. Their team believes in social media being social, and they frequently respond to their fans.
Of course, they have to do it in Dew style:
— Mountain Dew® (@MountainDew) October 30, 2015
@jemarshall23 Gonna have to get a MTN DEW Kicktart and a green suit before you can powerstance like Russ.
— Mountain Dew® (@MountainDew) October 27, 2015
“Dude,” “awesome,” “#Squadgoals,” “Sick,” are all slang terms that you’ll find the Mountain Dew team using in replies to fans on Twitter.
This is equal parts them crafting their edgy brand voice, and wanting to speak the language of their followers. Not every brand can get away with this, but Mountain Dew manage it because it fits their brand voice.
How you’ll speak to followers, and the actual words you’ll choose, is an important consideration when you are first learning how to use Twitter for your business.
Mountain Dew’s YouTube marketing with Dale Jr., Call of Duty
The Dew team don’t keep their ‘crazy’ to Twitter. A consistent brand voice is needed across all of social and online marketing, and their Youtube channel reflects this.
They create great videos and share them here, but most of these videos get cut up and edited into content for social.
Perhaps their weirdest YouTube marketing was the #DaleCall series.
They have been working with Dale Earnhardt Jr. for several years as a sponsor.
When they wanted to do some video marketing with him they started it all with a ‘Dale call.’ It’s like a duck call, but it sounds like an engine. Here’s the most viewed example:
You blow the Dale call, Dale Jr. shows up!
Even weirder is that the Dale call was an actual toy that you could buy when these videos came out. That’s some strange marketing there! But it worked overall as they thrive on strange!
Their other major team-up in the video marketing world is with Call of Duty.
It’s no secret that many of their fans are gamers. Mountain Dew Code Red is a bit of an inside joke/requirement amongst hardcore video game fans. It only seems natural that they worked with the Call of Duty team for the latest release:
War is hell. Especially when Tommy steals your Mountain Dew while your hands are trapped in a vending machine.
The video linked up with in game rewards that you could only get in Call of Duty through Mountain Dew.
Not only is the video silly, but the marketing link is also different.
A real world action, drinking Dew, helps you in the game.
I think more marketers will start making these links as publishers look for new advertising revenues, and marketers look for new ways to link with audiences. Not only that, but working with partners in your video marketing is a way that many have taken to become popular on YouTube.
Mountain Dew goes with action sports on Instagram
The Dew team have been linking up with those in action sports for quite some time. I’m not sure if it’s a deliberate choice, but almost all of their action sports content ends up on Instagram.
They do mix in other campaigns, but there’s stuff on Instagram you won’t find on other social channels.
The biggest reasons why they have so much action sports content is because of their Dew Tour. This is primarily a skateboard demonstration/competition that tours the USA every summer.
While most of the content is a bit more on the conventional side in the language and presentation, the content itself is not.
Action sports are as edgy as ever, and perfectly fitting with Mountain Dew’s overall brand voice.
I find it interesting that they have compartmentalized this aspect of their content to one platform.
Perhaps more large brands with a lot going on would be wise to see if they can learn something here.
Mountain Dew and the NBA, featuring Russell Westbrook
The NBA is a bit more of a corporate, straightforward type of brand.
They keep their posts factual with scores and player updates. When Dew and the NBA teamed up, we all expected Dew to tone it down a bit. Especially when they teamed with Russell Westbrook, a promising young star with a clean cut image and little media exposure outside the league.
Ya, about Dew toning it down…
And less than a week ago a new awesome video featuring Russell Westbrook appeared on MountainDew channel as another example of cooperation with NBA. So I’ll leave it below this note.
It’s just silly to be silly. And it works.
They could have had Russell ‘power stancing’ back and forth out of pure absurdity for another 2 or 3 minutes and I would have watched to see what would have happened.
It terms of views, the video isn’t doing well.
I have a feeling that Dew weren’t really looking to get Youtube views. They wanted content to chop up and be part of a much larger branded story.
You can find this campaign everywhere you look:
— Mountain Dew® (@MountainDew) October 27, 2015
People submitted selfies to Mountain Dew for the chance to have themselves styled to look like Russ.
The campaign didn’t go far as spots were limited, but it was an interesting idea.
The overall lesson here: Mountain Dew can team up with anyone, in any genre or sport, and incorporate them into their brand voice. They don’t bow to pressure.
If you’re going to work with them you’re going to be involved with their content style, and their brand voice.
So brace yourself: Things may get weird.
Please comment below on any aspect of Mountain Dew’s social content strategy that you find interesting, or ask me about anything you’d like to know more about. I’ll be glad to speak with you.