AMPING UP THE ENERGY DRINK WARS

Female Contortionist Featured in New Pepsi Ads

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Looking to elbow a bigger share of the explosive energy drink category, PepsiCo's Mountain Dew unit broke
An energetic performer bends over backwards to promote the new Amp drink.
a new TV campaign late last month for its year-old entrant, Amp.

Angelique Bellmer, director of Mountain Dew, said, "In the energy drink category overall, none of the players are very well known. Awareness of Amp is only about 30% among energy brand drinkers. We want to add to awareness among 20 to 29 year olds."

MTV, Comedy Central
The campaign, devised by Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, began airing on networks such as MTV and Comedy Central on Dec. 23 and will continue to run at various periods during the year.

BBDO came up with the idea of a series of 15-second spots showing individuals such as a solo table tennis player, a walking contortionist and high-kicking man performing high-energy activities. The tagline for each of the five spots is "Mmm. Energy."

Ms. Bellmer said Mountain Dew has so far concentrated the Amp ad budget on radio and online outlets. The decision to switch to TV was made because executives felt the brand had built enough critical mass to benefit from a further TV push.

Far behind Red Bull
Since its launch in November 2001, Amp sales almost matched those for PepsiCo's SoBe adrenaline drink. While Red Bull is the category leader, selling 27 million units (sales were $53 million) for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 1, 2002, SoBe sold 6.3 million units, with Amp not far behind at 6.1 million.

According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Mountain Dew spent $145,000 on measured media in 2001 and $1 million between January and October 2002 for Amp. The spend behind the new TV campaign was not disclosed.

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