Mtn Dew Does National TV as It Hunts for Upside in Key Regions

Strategy Could Boost Sales in Underdeveloped U.S. Markets

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Mtn Dew is amping up national TV buys, which could help it boost sales in underdeveloped markets around the country.

Race-car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. will appear in TV ads.
Race-car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. will appear in TV ads.
The soda brand, better known lately for crowdsourcing efforts -- dubbed "Dewmocracy" -- is nearly doubling its TV spend with the launch of the campaign and tagline "This is how we Dew."

"Folks are familiar with Dew, but may not have thought about it in a while," said Brett O'Brien, VP-marketing for Mtn Dew and flavored carbonated drinks.

The soda has been one of the best-performing carbonated-soft-drink brands, ranking fourth behind Coke, Diet Coke and Pepsi, according to Beverage Digest. But sales in certain parts of the country are much weaker than the national average, making national TV buys an intriguing move. Mtn Dew has a 5.2% supermarket share nationally, according to Beverage Digest. But in New York, the country's largest market, its share is just 2.6%. In Miami, the brand has a 1.9% share; in Boston, 2.5%.

"If they could take some key markets, mainly in the East, and bring the share up even a bit closer to the national average, they could get some nice performance from the brand," said John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest. "But that could take years to do." Last year, Mtn Dew spent $19.5 million on TV, according to Kantar Media. Doubling that will put the brand at spending levels not seen since 2007.

With the increased budget, Mtn Dew will be rethinking its media mix. A year ago, 23% of the TV budget was allocated to national buys, but that is growing to 40%. Fox will be the main beneficiary, with the brand planning to buy shows such as "The Simpsons" and "Bob's Burgers." Cable buys include ESPN and FX. OMD handles media buying.

At the Beverage Digest Future Smarts conference in December, CEO-PepsiCo Americas Beverages Al Carey said he believes it's possible to grow brands within the beleaguered carbonated-soft-drink category, citing Mtn Dew and Diet Mtn Dew.

The launch spot for the campaign features pro skaters and snowboarders, as well as race-car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., country singer Jason Aldean and rapper Lil Wayne. It's the type of work not seen from Mtn Dew in several years.

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