In an attempt to revitalize and reinvent the Mountain Dew brand, PepsiCo did a unique creative partnership with Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker to build Dewmocracy which is a virtual community built around a story-based short film and role-play in game that ultimately will let the users of the site create a next Mountain Dew.
The site opens with a 4-minute short film that explains the Dewmocracy back story, which revolves around “a chosen one” whose mission is to defeat the iron-fisted corporate forces controlling the world and return freedom of choice to the people. It has the look of the combination of a Sci-Fi channel version of Blade Runner and Ridley Scott’s 1984 Apple commercial. According to the creators, this opening movie and a lot of the experience was created by Whitaker who rather than sit back as a celebrity name plate he took on the majority of creative aspects for the experience by hiring his own team of illustrators, designers, writers and producers.
The game has seven “chambers” where you can earn points by doing various games like answering questions, meeting mythical characters, etc..
Get enough points and you can ultimately select the flavor, color, name, logo, label, and tag line for the next Mountain Dew. This selection process isn’t completely open ended as each choice is made from a pre-set list so there are a limited number of combinations that could win.
The winning drink will be unveiled in July. For me, the whole thing is interesting but I don’t really find it that compelling since I don’t drink Mountain Dew or have the free time required to get very far in the game. But then again I am not the demographic for this and it is resonating with their target since the site has had 700,000 unique visitors, including 200,000 registered members who have played the game with an average time spent per gaming session is 28 minutes. It is hard to argue with numbers like that so it will be interesting to track the rest of the campaign and the final reveal to see how it all works out.