Mountain Dew celebrates doing: Do they do it right?

In my younger days, I loved Mountain Dew–my caffeine boost as I wasn’t then a coffee drinker or much of a soda drinker. I loved the more sweet, smooth taste of the green stuff. Over the years, though I stopped drinking the Dew, I have been a fan of their action packed advertising and their Dew Tour. It seemed like they knew their audience well.

In their new advertising campaign, I think they may have sacrificed audience a bit for idea. Their new concept, developed by agency BBDO New York, has moved from focusing on “the action of doing” to highlighting “the feeling of doing.”In Adweek’s recent article, Ryan Collis, senior director of marketing for Mountain Dew, explains, “There is an actual euphoric high one experiences when doing something exhilarating, and we took on the challenge of bringing that moment to life.”

Good stuff, right? I love the concept–and I think a lot of people can relate to it. Now watch their new “Fade Away” ad and see what you think:

I have one problem with it–the music at the fade away. Visually it works, everything fades to black and gray while the actor and his skateboard are viewed in color. But, classical music for the fade away?

I think that’s where Mountain Dew loses it’s audience. I’m not saying skateboarders or people in their teens and 20s can’t like classical music. I’m sure some do. Is classical music really what represents the feeling of doing in that fade away? Does it even represent the “euphoric high” Collis talked about? No…that’s my answer anyway.

The fade away is what you feel when you’re in the zone–again, the concept is great. But if you want to get across that feeling of doing in those moments? Make the fade away part quiet or just breathing, a long exhale, a heartbeat or just the sounds of the skateboard’s wheels spinning, then make the landing pop with sound, maybe into loud rock or alt-rock music or a louder more percussive version of the music that comes before. That’s the feeling of doing, especially when you land that new trick or achieve that difficult feat.

This is the first in a series of ads under Mountain Dew’s new slogan “There’s no feeling like doing,” so maybe they’ll find their way in the next ones. Given the history of the brand and their campaigns and how well (I think) they know the skate and snow audience, I have faith.

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2 comments

  1. Skip Shuda · January 11

    I see what they’re trying to do – that pause into the sublime that is being “in flow”. Your suggestions are (IMHO) big improvements to the classical music – and would have avoided the potential loss of momentum present in the classical music pause.
    Which brings up the importance of maintaining the momentum. I was at a solstice celebration filled with awesome light, music, deep reflection and one of the speakers started to address the audience with negative stories. I think he was trying to convey a sense of the oppression and depression that we need to overcome, but his approach was such that it completely arrested my blissful state. I felt like an angel following the trumpets atop fluffy, white clouds being shot down by a tomahawk missile.
    Note to self. Momentum matters.

    • ctmarcom · January 12

      Skip, Nice to hear your viewpoint here. I like the way you sum it up…and I love your description of your blissful experience being shot down by a tomahawk missile. It’s disconcerting when you get ripped out of that flow. Momentum does matter.

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