Cannes Lions

A Can Has No Name

OMD NEW YORK / PEPSICO / 2019

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Case Film

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

MOUNTAIN DEW is a brand with high awareness, although it has lost grasp of the cultural cachet it had enjoyed in prior decades. A crowded consumer market, changing consumption habits and a plethora of competitive options made connecting with brand advocates harder than ever.

Our challenge was to re-engage not only our truest fans (affectionately known as DEW Nation) and get them to rally behind the brand once again, but also regain our prevalence as a national cultural icon. We knew from our research that many of our most passionate loyalists were also huge Game of Thrones fans and had drawn connections between the brand and the show, bringing to light a potential collaboration that seemed written in the stars.

With the final season of Game of Thrones fast approaching, there was an opportunity to re-establish DEW’s cultural relevance, and so we did what needed to be done #ForTheThrone.

Idea

When HBO asked MOUNTAIN DEW what it was willing to sacrifice in partnership for the final season of Game of Thrones, the brand embraced the challenge and plotted a step by step approach #ForTheThrone.

We knew that to stand out amidst the rampant cultural conversation surrounding Game of Thrones, we would need to pay homage to the story and execute a campaign that would excite both DEW Nation and Throners alike.

We were inspired by the character of Arya Stark, once known in the story as “A Girl Has No Name,” who gave up her identity to become no one.

MOUNTAIN DEW would harness all it had in its arsenal including its iconic green “face”, social channels, media and talent partnerships. Following in the footsteps of Arya Stark, MOUNTAIN DEW would also give up its identity to become no one, ultimately transforming itself to “A Can Has No Name”.

Strategy

DEW sacrificed everything it was known for in the three weeks leading up to the premiere. As a $4.3Bn brand driven by its identity in culture and on shelf, giving that up posed a massive risk.

The groundwork for the partnership involved studying DEW Nation and Thrones’ conversation in fan forums. Parallels between DEW and the show had been made for years: the way the product resembled Wildfire, or how a lead character starred in DEW’s 2018 Super Bowl ad.

Heading into the final season, the story of Arya Stark, an innocent girl turned assassin, was the perfect tie-in for a brand with a celebrated heritage of being a badass. The shared fans helped inform DEW’s approach: lean into the narrative in an ownable way, drive conversation using talent who were also Thrones fans, and deliver a version of the DEW can that fans would go crazy for.

Execution

To tease the campaign and set the internet ablaze, we released a teaser video across social that featured DEW athlete and NBA All-Star, Joel Embiid, drinking DEW on the Iron Throne.

We then gave up our iconic green “face” to reveal a mysterious, brandless can. When warm, the cans appeared nameless but when chilled, they revealed Arya’s Stark’s kill list. We released a music video reinterpretation of the Thrones theme song, sacrificing our talent and inserting our name (“DEW”) into the pervasive melody.

We even inspired late-night royalty, Jimmy Kimmel, to make his own version during an in-show integration.

All the while we caused a frenzy in New York and LA hiding exclusive coins, which could be deposited into massive Iron DEW dispensers for “A Can Has No Name” – and encouraged fans across the nation to tell us what they would sacrifice for their chance to win a can.

Outcome

DEW dominated conversations through its efforts:

-Amassed over 4.3BN total impressions (of which 4BN were earned)

-Delivered a 512% increase (or 6x) the Twitter conversation following the campaign vs. previous weeks

DEW sparked demand for “A Can Has No Name”:

-Within the 40-hour window, we received over 88,000 requests for cans, or one request every two seconds

-The free cans were being auctioned off on eBay for up to $300 for a single can

-Thousands of fans showed up to events in NY and LA, going through an intricate process just to get their hands on a can

The DEW and Game of Thrones partnership was in fact written in the stars:

-On Facebook, message association between DEWand Game of Thrones was 4.9x higher than CPG norms, while favorability scored 4.7x higher than CPG norms

And that’s how you re-establish cultural relevance #ForTheThrone

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