Brand: Mountain Dew Code Red (Pepsico)
Link: Click Here
Target: Male Dew Drinkers
Four people play the carnival game that has you shooting water into a clown’s mouth to inflate and burst a balloon on his head. A teen/young 20′s looking guy pops his balloon first. “That’s a winner” the bored, red-headed attendant says. The guy looks at the shelf and sees a 20-oz bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red nestled between the legs of a stuffed animal. “Oh – I’ll take the Code Red,” he says sounding slightly surprised. “That’s not a prize, it’s mine,” the attendant says flatly. “But it’s with the prizes,” the guy insists. “Not happening!” the attendant says as he scoots off the booth and reaches for a water gun. “I’m not lookin’ for trouble,” the guy drawls as he steps away from his friend with another water gun. “Well, you found it,” says the attendant as the screen shot moves from a rectangular box to widescreen format and we hear the familiar whistle from the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” in the background. As the two men draw their water pistols we see a stream of water going into the guys mouth and then the attendants. Their heads begin to inflate to comical size. Then in a moment the attendants head bursts with a wash of water and it is over. We see the guy’s hand grab the Mountain Dew Code Red. He drinks a long swig and then we see the attendant as he says, “Well, that got ugly,” as water runs out of his ears. The spot ends with a graphic of the dynamic Mountain Dew Code Red graphic.
This is a funny and visually compelling spot that has enough storyline appeal to be watched several times. The inflating heads are a very clever device and the spot plays it well enough to be surprising, entertaining and memorable. The branding in this spot is also good as the Code Red bottle is introduced early in the spot and makes several appearances before the logo shot at the end. The unexpected twist in this spot (when the heads of the two guys expand balloon-like as they are being shot full of water) makes this execution very memorable. The use of the spaghetti western music and widescreen-effect perfectly serves up this satiric spot.
Although the branding is good in this spot, the brand positioning is hard to unravel. Code Red seems to be differentiating itself based upon the take-no-prisoners attitude of the brand users, personified in this spot by both the game-playing guy and the game booth attendant. However it is not at all clear if this brand user attitude is specific enough and sufficiently differentiated to be ownable. This advertising blog believes that this spot may create a lot of buzz of the type where the spot’s story is told (or the visual effect is described) but the brand gets lost. Not because the branding is bad, but because the branding is not tied to user imagery that is undeniably owned by Mountain Dew Code Red. This may improve as the campaign progresses, but for the moment it impairs the spots ability to build the Code Red brand.
Branding Bottom Line:
Soda is fine, but that head-inflating trick rocks.