Brand: Diet Mountain Dew
Execution: TV & Print
Link: Click Here
Target: Calorie-conscious Dew Drinkers
Rating: **** (Print)/** (TV)
A new campaign breaking in both Television and Print. The TV ad shows a volunteer being lowered into shark-infested waters as a camera crew and divers in a shark cage watch. The voiceover intones, “In these shark-infested waters, a team of scientists and one brave volunteer are about to find the answer to an important question: Is Diet Mountain Dew as much of a thrill as Regular Mountain Dew?” The wetsuit-clad volunteer starts splashing the surface of the water to attract the shark. Suddenly, the volunteer catches hold of the Great White Shark’s dorsal fin and begins to ride the shark like a dolphin as he makes spectacular aerial flips. “The results were clear. Diet Mountain Dew is ALL THE DEW with none of the calories.” The spot shifts to a close shot on the Dew bottle and the tagline, “How Dew Does Diet – With Great New Taste.” This spot will first run this weekend during NASCAR.
The Print ads all present a play on expectations with the common tagline “Don’t Be Fooled By Names.” They are backed in Mountain Dew Green and feature photos by Sasha Waldman of four characters whose appearance belies their names. One is a nerd named “Slick,” another a hairless cat named “Fluffy,” a third a sumo wrestler named, “Tiny” and a fourth an injured dog named, ‘Lucky’ (see above.) These ads will first appear in March issues of Sports Illustrated and FHM Magazine.
Print: This series of pool-outs has a nicely restrained feeling which will help arrest the attention in the over-the-top world of guy magazines. The framed portraits use humor to illustrate a point – all is not what it seems to be. We are not sure if the linkage to the brand is entirely there, but we do think the ads will engage people. They have the iconic look that might put them into the same league with the Altoid print advertising which is instantly identifiable to the faithful.
TV: This spot is over-the-top, which certainly fits with the Mountain Dew brand positioning. The spectacular (and hopefully fake) shots of a man riding a Great White Shark grab the attention. BBDO is smart to introduce the brand in the middle of the spot and keep reinforcing it all the way through the remainder of the action.
This advertising blog is a fan of consistency and campaigns that build upon each other. While the Diet Mountain Dew print campaign is a model of consistency, we don’t see many linkages between the restrained print and the over-the-top television advertising. Of course it is true that different styles suit different mediums better. It would be hard to imagine a TV spot featuring a hairless cat named “Fluffy” breaking through during a NASCAR commercial break. Yet somehow even though the underlying message is the same (Diet Dew is really good just like Regular Mountain Dew), we’re not sure that the two parts of this campaign will reinforce each other because of the dramatically different execution style.
We also wonder about targeting for this campaign. The message seems to be pitched at current Mountain Dew drinkers (‘Diet Dew is just as good as the original’ is not much of a message if you don’t like Mountain Dew). Are there dual users of diet and regular drinks? Or is Mountain Dew intentionally cannabalizing on its business – perhaps because it is worried about calorie concerns hurting its business in the long run? We would welcome a comment by the brand or agency to this post to clarify. Diet Mountain Dew is a bit of an odd duck. The very idea of a diet version of a radical drink which has used the massive adrenaline boost of its sugar/caffeine mix to great effect is an oxymoron. So it may not be surprising that finding a natural target audience for the drink is challenging as well.
Branding Bottom Line:
We can’t wait to see the Shark-Riding event at the Summer Olympics. How did they miss that in Sydney?