Mountain Dew continues to maintain its message of marketing innovation by constantly testing and evaluating new technologies.
Their latest conquest comes through their unique take on wearable tech with “Camo Out,” a collection that takes consumers through the past, present and future of camouflage by exploring history’s, fashion’s and technology’s relationship with the iconic pattern.
Dew partnered with youth-culture fashion brand VFILES to integrate media-based tech as part of their digital innovation program. The smart clothes collection includes a hat, Bluetooth jacket, solar-powered backpack and jackets and pants with built-in headphones. It debuted earlier this month at the pop culture trade show ComplexCon in Los Angeles.
The collection was also complemented with an experiential push using augmented reality technology. Using mirrors equipped with hologram-AR technology, guests were virtually outfitted by the custom “Camo Out” patterns and immersed into a virtual music video of the future.
Trail-blazing brand marketers at PepsiCo’s marketing innovation team, Creator, a catalyst group of internal experts who identify where the future of marketing is going from consumer trends to never-before-been-done technology, took the quantum leap toward procuring the partnership.
Stinson Parks, Mountain Dew’s digital marketing manager, joined [a]listdaily to discuss how the soft drink brand is constantly evaluating and evolving in emerging trends and technologies.
When you think of Mountain Dew, “integrating media-based tech into wearable products and connected clothing” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Why was it important for Mountain Dew to move toward an experiential push using wearable tech and augmented reality for the first time?
Dew extends well beyond the amazing beverage products our fans know us for and over time, has become part of the lifestyle and culture that our consumers live and breathe. The brand’s mantra, ‘Do The Dew,’ has come to life in a variety of ways over the years through our activations and experiences such as Dew Tour, and more recently in partnerships with the NBA and DR-1 Drone Racing League. When the brand is at its best, it’s constantly innovating, instigating and pushing the culture in a meaningful way for all of our fans—they expect it from us. The areas of tech and innovation are important for Dew and we are always pushing the boundaries as a digital instigator. The “Camo Out” wearable tech collection was the perfect way to enter into the fashion space, but in an area important to the brand
How do you describe the collection to someone who can’t experience it?
The “Camo Out” collection is how Dew does camouflage. It’s a fun, forward-thinking play on the classic print, and everything from the patterns to the materials to the wearable tech elements add a mix of flair and utility. With bright Dew greens and neon yellows, this is the camo for those who’d rather stand out then blend in.
How did the collaboration with VFILES come about? Why is telling the past, present and future story of camouflage a good fit for Mountain Dew, and one of particular interest?
As soon as we met with the VFILES team and heard their vision—which is all about inspiring and enabling youth culture and creativity—we knew they were a perfect fit for Dew. The story of camouflage is an important one for Dew because by nature, it’s one that is universally relevant to any young guy out there in the Dew Nation. Whether you’re into hunting and fishing or you’re a fan of more urban brands like BAPE and Maharishi, from the Midwest to New York City, camo has probably played a part in your life at some point. While we have a history with the more traditional aspects of camo—like creating a camo-branded Mountain Dew can—this was our opportunity to reverse the traditional role of camo and really own that story and tell it in a meaningful way.
How was the “The Camo Collective” installation received at ComplexCon? What is the main message, and takeaway from consumers?
The activation was very well received. Those who were able to experience the Camo Collective walked away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of camouflage and camo culture. They were able to learn about its relevance in fashion and art, function and future approaches through our art gallery, AR and VFILES pop-up shop experience. If there was one takeaway, it’s that camo is forever, and the future is an exciting one.
Is there a specific social or influencer marketing strategy you plan on executing here to further promote “The Camo Collective”?
There were a variety of influencers who stopped by the Camo Collective activation, both organically, and through our own outreach before ComplexCon. Everyone from social media influencers like Tyler Blake and Vashtie to music and entertainment artists like Migos and Madeintyo came through, and many like Versace Tomagachi decided to share the experience on social with their fans, too. We also promoted the experience on Dew’s social channels and all partner channels like VFILES, Complex and Green Label. We even launched a Camo Collective website featuring a documentary all about the history and future of camo.
What kind of social and experiential campaigns work best for Mountain Dew? Do you have a particular favorite planned in coming months?
The experiential campaigns that work best for us are the ones where we get to provide original experiences to our fans that bring them right in the center of the action. Whether it’s events like Dew NBA 3X, a six-city street ball tournament that debuted this year, or our past events in music with Green Label Sound, we know our consumers want to be a part of the things we do, which is why the experiential piece is always so much fun. We have Dew Tour Breckenridge in Colorado coming up in December where we’ll debut a totally reimagined course for the snow competition. That one will be particularly exciting to check out.
What kind of a role do you want to have with Mountain Dew in art, fashion and emerging tech like IoT and AR/VR moving forward?
Dew by nature is a creative brand, an innovative brand and most importantly, a fun brand. Wherever Dew can continue to flex those muscles, be it in art, fashion and tech—or in ones we have yet to discover—there will always be an opportunity to keep showing up, pushing boundaries and having a damn good time.
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