Mountain Dew Hacks a New Code

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Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew "Unleash The Code"
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Forget the Matrix. Mountain Dew has unveiled a subversive experience of its own for cyberspace surfers to hack into, all in the name of Code Red—both the cherry-flavored drink and the devastating computer virus it inspired. "The Code Red worm that hit web servers in the summer of 2001 got its name because Mountain Dew Code Red was the fuel of choice for the programmers who were working around the clock to stop the worm's spread," says Scott Johnson, executive creative director of Tribal DDB/Dallas, the agency behind the newly launched codered.com website. "The new site is a subtle homage to that little bit of cyber-history."

Designed to invoke the underground feel of the world of hacking, the site prompts visitors to "unleash the code" by entering a series of random numbers, which in turn unlock a string of hidden videos, quirky animations and strangely entertaining games. "We wanted to give the site a feel that was unlike anything else out there, and we wanted to make users feel as if they're determining the content," says Johnson. "I really like the way the codes and videos come at you as if they've been blown up by the digital equivalent of a dust storm. When users enter the first code, it feels as if they've stumbled onto something they shouldn't have access to, which is always kind of exhilarating. Once they start experiencing some of the deeply strange stuff on the site, we've found that people just keep entering codes because they can't wait to see what happens next. It's a really engaging way to reward people who spend time exploring. The kung fu section seems especially popular."
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