This past year we saw consumer brands embrace social-media programs for branding and product promotions in sophisticated ways that most tech companies haven't quite gotten to yet.
Much of the reason behind the tech lag is due to the breadth of the audience, but also because tech buyers have tended toward expressing their opinions to companies without being asked.
Mountain Dew recently unveiled the details of its year-long DEWmocracy 2 program, "an open communications platform that relies on the collective intelligence of loyal consumers to shape the direction of the brand and Mountain Dew innovation pipeline." In layman's terms this means it is looking to go beyond crowdsourcing and incorporate a huge variety of community marketing and branding efforts into a bigger strategy.
DEWmocracy 2 launched in July and is a 12-month, seven-stage campaign that will result in the production of a completely user-generated Mountain Dew beverage. This is not dissimilar to a program Vitaminwater ran on Facebook earlier this year to crowdsource ideas for new flavors. The main difference is that DEWmocracy is a sophisticated, fairly massive endeavor, encompassing online communities like Facebook, video submissions, Twitter, and a variety of ways to vote, allowing users to share their thoughts.
I put forth a number of questions about the program to Brett O'Brien, director of marketing, Mountain Dew, detailed below.
What stage of the program are you currently in? We completed the advertising challenge, which is the sixth stage of DEWmocracy, on December 13. DEW fans voted for their favorite advertising submissions, choosing six finalists. The finalists will now create short pitch videos for the Flavor Nations, which will each select which ad creator they would like to work within 2010 to create ads that will run on national TV.
Has any one particular tool been most effective in your marketing efforts? Several tools have been effective, but we're particularly impressed with the consumer response to our call for video submissions on 12seconds.tv. In total, more than 1,000 videos [were] created by consumers and posted on 12seconds.tv and other social-media outlets. That type of response, coupled with the quality of the video submissions, screams a high level of consumer engagement. Consumer video submissions also enabled DEW loyalists to share content with other DEW drinkers and introduce them to the program not through the voice of the brand, but through the enthusiasm of fellow DEW fans. … Read more