Mountain Dew leverages 'Dark Knight' anticipation

PURCHASE, NY: PepsiCo's Mountain Dew has launched an integrated campaign with Warner Bros. Pictures linking the soda brand to next month's premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.

PURCHASE, NY: PepsiCo's Mountain Dew has launched an integrated campaign with Warner Bros. Pictures linking the soda brand to next month's premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.

The brand decided to collaborate with Warner Bros. because it wants to leverage the summer blockbuster, which will debut in theaters July 20, as well as to drive resonance among Batman and Mountain Dew fans, said Zach Harris, senior marketing manager at Mountain Dew.

“Mountain Dew is really going after the Millennial consumer and it's talking to the youth culture, but it really transcends one demographic,” he explained. “It's more of a mindset in terms of those people who think differently and have a unique point of view, similar to Mountain Dew as a product.”

Working with Warner Bros., the PepsiCo brand created an interactive website, DEWGothamCity.com, to drive consumer engagement and boost excitement, added Harris.

From now until the film's release, the companies will add unique content about The Dark Knight Rises to the site regularly. Fans can redeem prizes, such as exclusive T-shirts and hoodies, by entering codes found on Mountain Dew bottles. Consumers can also win sweepstakes prizes, such as a signed script by director Christopher Nolan and limited edition Xbox consoles, Harris added.

Although fans can only access the content and enter the contests on the site, Mountain Dew will work to raise awareness of the products and gear on Facebook and Twitter, Harris said.

The soda brand is also engaging print, radio, and broadcast media with agency Weber Shandwick to promote the partnership and its special edition Dark Berry flavor, said Andrea Foote, senior director of communications at PepsiCo Beverages Americas. This is the first project for Mountain Dew that Weber has worked on since it was brought on as agency partner in April.

Mountain Dew is also part of a grassroots tour that is bringing the Tumbler vehicle from The Dark Knight Rises to cities around the country. Fans can see the prop in person and try the Dark Berry beverage at tour stops, Harris said.

He added that the brand also worked with Dale Earnhardt Jr., the driver of the Diet Mountain Dew-sponsored car in NASCAR, to allow “Dew Crew” fans to select a Dark Knight-inspired theme for his Chevrolet.

Earnhardt won the June 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Brooklyn, MI, and Mountain Dew “couldn't have scripted a better story,” said Harris. To promote Earnhardt Jr. and the win, the brand reached out to lifestyle and entertainment publications and racing media outlets, he added.

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