Mtn Dew Is Latest Advertiser to Take the Snooze out of the Pre-Roll Ad

Dew's New NBA Campaign Uses Russell Westbrook as PepsiCo Begins Sponsorship

Published On
Oct 28, 2015

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Less than two weeks after PepsiCo exec Brad Jakeman ripped the industry's use of pre-roll advertising, a soda brand within his company is launching a new campaign that uses, you guessed it, pre-roll.

But the campaign for Mtn Dew -- which kicks off the brand's new NBA sponsorship -- attempts to use pre-roll in a way that gets around Mr. Jakeman's top complaint: That the oft-used tactic is "a model of polluting content that is not sustainable," as he put it in a fiery speech at an Association of National Advertisers event on Oct. 15.

The campaign plugs Mtn Dew Kickstart and features NBA star Russell Westbrook. Rather than using branded pre-roll, the brand is deploying a two-minute pre-roll spot that is devoid of Dew imagery. The ad shows Mr. Westbrook dressed in a bright green suit and doing a "powerstance," a new move coined by Mtn Dew. Mr. Westbrook moves through random scenes, like a beach, a swamp and a moon landing.

Like regular YouTube TrueView pre-roll spots, viewers can skip the ad after five seconds. But Dew brand leaders are hoping that the pre-roll spot is quirky and mysterious enough that people watch it till the end. At that point they can click to view a more traditional spot, as Mr. Westbrook dares viewers to "go ahead, watch my ad." The campaign is by BBDO, New York.

Mr. Jakeman, who is PepsiCo's global beverage group president, said in his ANA talk that pre-roll was "my particular peeve. I hate it."

But in an email on Tuesday he said the Mtn Dew work is "a perfect example of what I was talking about at ANA: How can we make commercial content that is at least as exciting and amazing as the non-commercial content that it is placed within/before."

He added: "I don't have anything against pre-roll per se, but about bad pre-roll which interrupts the consumer's experience of quality content. This was precisely the brief the team worked to: How do we produce amazing and compelling content for pre-roll that is at least as cool and engaging as the content it precedes."

Other marketers have tried similar tactics to get beyond the banality of traditional pre-roll ads. Geico, for instance, won a Grand Prix at Cannes this year for creating a pre-roll that shows a family around a dinner table. A voiceover declares "You can't skip this Geico ad because it's already over." Then a dog proceeds to devour every bit of food on the table, as the family is frozen in place.

Tic Tac recently deployed a pre-roll ad disguised to look like that familiar screen with a spinning center that plays before an online video loads. But in this case, the spinning center is made of Tic Tacs.

Read more about the effort on


Oct 28, 2015
Brand :
Mountain Dew
Client :
Mountain Dew
Agency :
BBDO-New York
Chief Creative Officer :
David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer :
Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director :
Lauren Connolly
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter :
Dan Kelly
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter :
Christopher Cannon
Associate Creative Director, Art Director :
Todd Rone Parker
Group Executive Producer :
Julian Katz
Senior Producer :
Sofia Doktori
Executive Music Producer :
Melissa Chester
Senior Account Director :
Ladd Martin
Account Director :
Patrice Reiley
Account Manager :
Kylie Halperin
Assistant Account Executive :
Dominique Brown
Planning Director :
Brit Browning
Production Company :
Executive Producer :
Michael Sagol
Executive Producer :
Jasper Thomlinson
Head of Production :
Kelly Bowen
Director, Photography :
Ken Seng
Producer :
Adrianne McCurrach
Visual Effects :
Visual Effects Executive Producer :
Camila De Biaggi
Visual Effects Producer :
Bindy St. Leger
Visual Effects Producer :
Matthew Loranger
Color Executive Producer :
Adina Birnbaum
Colorist :
James Tillett
Design :
Keliang Shan
Design :
Diana Park
Design :
Daniel Blanco
Design :
Kerim Camdzic
Nuke :
Jeric Pimentel
Nuke :
Elijah Lamond
Nuke :
Carl Fong
Nuke :
Chris Russo
Nuke :
Chris Green
Flame Artist :
Seif Boutella
Flame Artist :
Aleks Sasha Djordjevic
Flame Artist :
Warren Paleos
3D Modeler :
Michael Nieves
3D Generalist :
Charlotte Bae
3D Rigging :
Andres Weber
3D Animator :
Graeme Revell
Director :
Keith Schofield

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