Last Updated 14 May 2021

Mountain Dew Case Study

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Mountain Dew is a carbonated soft drink (CSD) brand produced and owned by PepsiCo. The drink is yellowgreen, citrus-flavored, and high caffeinated. The product sells to male teens and young adults who embrace excitement, adventure and fun. The positioning is that it is the great tasting carbonated soft drink that exhilarates like no other because it’s energizing, thirst- quenching, and has a one-of-a-kind citrus flavor. Some of Mountain Dew’s competitors include other carbonated drinks like Coke, Sprite, and Dr. Pepper. Noncarbonated drink brands such as Snapple and Gatorade are also considered competition. One of Mountain Dew’s strengths is that they were the first use extreme sports and athletic activities as a marketing strategy. Also, the drink is the brand of one of the most globally recognized companies PepsiCo, helps Mountain Dew create a name within the beverage industry. It has a unique citrus taste. A weakness of the company is that Mountain Dew target market and promotions are only for young customers.

Problems/Constraitns

Mountain Dew is facing three main problems in selecting a new creative. How to keep the “Do the Dew” campaign working hard to build the brand knowing that extreme sports were becoming overexposed. How to respond to the growing threat of non-carbonated drinks, especially Gatorade and the new highly caffeinated sugary energy drinks.

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The need to expand the appeal of Mountain Dew to new users while reinforcing it among current users. The constraint to problem #1 is Mountain Dew extreme sports were becoming overexposed and it can be difficult to come up with an alternate way to keep the exhilarating aspect that isn’t predictable. Mountain Dew needs to keep in mind that teens are gravitating to new activities and trends. With problem #2 one constraint may be if they do focus on the more non-carbonated assets of Mountain Dew such as the low carbonation and citrus sugary taste, they may lose existing customers. Problem #3 may be constricting because there is no market research or marketplace data to guide the decision to an ad that would appeal to both users. Also, the company needs to understand that new users and current users may have different interests because of differences in age. The advertising budget may increase if multiple ads need to be created to attract their ideal Mountain Dew target market.

Solution

For problem # 1 Mountain Dew should keep an alternative idea of manhood versus American ideology. If the brand supports this consistency it will earn cultural authority. The cheetah storyboard fits best with this alternative idea because it aligns well with Mountain Dew’s communication strategy shown in exhibit 3. Based off of the chart, their execution direction was to explore other metaphors beyond alternative sports to express “exhilarating intensity”, and communicate quenching. The cheetah storyboard shows exhilarating intensity with the dew guy chasing after a cheetah who has stolen his Dew. It communicates quenching because the setting takes place in a hot desert. A solution to problem #2 is to continue the same advertising approach where they focus on the energizing and quenching aspect along with the exhilaration and excitement benefit. Their advertisements have been successful in working-class Towns, rural towns & farms, and downscale rural areas (exhibit 5a).

On page 4 it discusses how Mountain Dew is appealing to the rural and working class lifestyles over Coca Cola and Pepsi. Because there isn’t much competition within these lifestyles they should continue appealing ads to these lifestyles. The solution to problem # 3 is to create separate ads that appeal to both new users (male teens—18-year-old epicenters) and current users (20-39-year-olds). The advertising budget will need to increase. Mountain Dew can afford to do so because exhibit 2 displays the advertising spending for other competitors and Mountain Dew’s budget is significantly lower than all brands, even those who have a lower number in sales and shouldn’t be able to afford it (exhibit 1). The ad Mountain Dew should select to appeal to new users is Cheetah. The characters are all in their late teens and the setting is something that the average 18 year-old can relate to and find exhilarating. For the current users the Labor of Love storyboard would be most successful because the majority of men ages 20-39 have children and can relate to birth, children, and being a father.

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