Cannes Lions

Mountain Dew and Game of Thrones: A Can Has No Name

GOLIN, New York / PEPSICO / 2019

Presentation Image
Case Film
Presentation Image

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Since 1940, Mountain Dew has captivated taste buds and captured hearts with its refreshing citrus flavor and bold Do the Dew attitude.

Now, faced with a competitive category and strong but stagnant sales, our objectives were clear:

? Entice a new generation of DEW drinkers with an authentic Game of Thrones campaign

? Move the sales needle

? Position DEW as the most culturally-connected soda

When we realized many of the same fans who turned Game of Thrones into the most popular show on television were already part of Dew Nation, we immediately set out to develop a creative campaign that went beyond partnership, leaning into their passion to unite two kingdoms under one banner.

A successful campaign required authenticity, deep understanding of the show’s lore, and a diehard commitment to both the Game of Thrones and Mountain Dew story.

Let’s Do #ForTheThone.

Idea

DEW paid tribute to the seven kingdoms with an unexpected twist to create “shock and awe” from brand fans. Leaning into the show’s lore through an earned-first creative idea that would sacrifice everything #ForTheThrone.

Taking inspiration from character, Arya Stark, we sacrificed our identity to become nothing by launching, A Can Has No Name. The limited-edition can, with the iconic brand name and green color removed, revealed a chilling twist when cold - Arya’s infamous kill list.

Fans clamored to get the thermodynamic can. But DEW required fan participation, asking fans to share what they would sacrifice for a chance to win the limited-edition can.

With our sacrifice complete, it was time to put DEW back on everyone’s lips by putting lyrics to the Game of Thrones theme song. DEW brand fans, athletes, musicians, and multi-platinum selling group, Migos recorded a song that had everyone singing along with Dew.

Strategy

While Game of Thrones and DEW fans are the most passionate of fans, they can also be the most critical, calling brands out for inauthenticity. With this insight, we had to do two things:

1) Set GoT fanatics ablaze with strategically created assets, including a limited edition can with show details only a true fan would comprehend and a re-write of the theme song featuring world famous talent.

2) Make die-hard fans thirst for the DEW can the same way they thirst for GoT content, through a carefully orchestrated announcement designed to incite discovery and sharing. A teaser video and the stripping of our branding from our social channels led fans to theorize the big reveal. When the news broke with an exclusive, we initiated widespread outreach to journalists we identified as die-hard Game of Thrones fans, resulting in a variety of earned stories culturally incentivized to enthusiastically tell DEW’s

Execution

With three weeks to the series finale, and fierce competition from other brands, we designed a rolling-thunder earned media strategy to dominate conversation across consumer, lifestyle, entertainment, and local market press.

The limited-edition can, local throne activations and exclusive song provided the creative assets to pitch carefully-crafted messages to spark coverage across broadcast, print, online and social media.

Approach:

• Media advances to strategically selected outlets to kickstart groundswell of press

• A USA Today exclusive followed by a wide-scale pitching effort to tried-and-true media outlets – entertainment, lifestyle, food/beverage, and of course geek culture sites and Game of Thrones specific outlets

• National and local coverage of DEW pop-up locations

• Can distribution via mailer to 200 influencers, celebrity and media. Special delivery by celebrity "Raven," Raven-Symone, to top-tier media

• Release of DEW version of Game of Thrones theme song via Dew social media followed by widespread pitching

Similar Campaigns

12 items

SweaterCard

NOSSA™, Oeiras

SweaterCard

2019, CARLSBERG

(opens in a new tab)