PURCHASE, NY: With the return of Mountain Dew Throwback to its permanent product line-up, PepsiCo is supporting the vintage-themed brand to the end of summer using only digital media and PR.
The key component of the campaign is the Mountain Dew Throwback Shack, a website in which visitors go inside the home of Willy, the first Mountain Dew pitchman. Currently, visitors can interact with dozens of things in the home, like a TV which plays old Mountain Dew ads and a memory book where they can upload their own memories of the brand.
Angie Gentile, assistant brand manager for Mountain Dew, told PRWeek, “The entire Throwback Shack has really been driven by PR and organic buzz from our online community. There is no external or paid advertisements.”
To continue the buzz summer-long, additional rooms in the shack will be unlocked over a 16-week period, said Gentile.
The website and PR campaign is from Ruder Finn, which PepsiCo hired for the Mountain Dew brand in November.
“Our first phase of outreach for the site was word of mouth, so we initially focused on Dew Labs, Mountain Dew's uber-enthusiast community of 5,000 influencers,” said Andy Pray, SVP, digital at RFI Studios. “And then we went out to Mountain Dew's five million fans on Facebook.”
John McInerney, SVP, consumer marketing for Ruder Finn, said “We also went to very targeted media and social media outlets. We went to places like Cheap Ass Gamer, where we saw the shack being talked about organically online. “
McInerney said they also targeted beverage media, including Beverage World, which tweeted about it.
“As the shack becomes more populated, we plan to do more fun stuff from a PR perspective,” he added. “We really have a phased approach to this campaign.”
Although Gentile wouldn't reveal the number of unique visits, she said 36% of visitors come to the site more than once. That is in part because visitors can win daily prizes like vintage-themed branded leather jackets by “liking” the item on their Facebook page.