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Mountain Dew embraces Snapchat?s real-time narrative potential

Mountain Dew is jumpstarting excitement for two new flavors of Mtn Dew Kickstart by leveraging a real-time, consumer-driven Snapchat story, proving that the social messaging application continues to gain traction as a bridge to build personal connections between brands and customers.

The Pepsico beverage brand is introducing consumers to the Pineapple Orange Mango and Strawberry Kiwi flavors of its Kickstart energy drinks by launching the ?It All Starts with a Kick? campaign on social media via the #Kickstart hashtag. Additional content will also be rolled out on Vine, Twitter and YouTube in the coming weeks.

?Social media provides tremendous opportunities for rich consumer engagement and integration with our brand,? said Jamal Henderson, director of brand marketing at Mountain Dew. ?Mountain Dew has always been a digital and social media instigator and this is an area that we will continue to lean in on.? 

Snapchat successes
More marketers have been turning to social media mobile application Snapchat in hopes of leveraging its ?Stories? feature to emotionally connect with consumers. Macy?s and Marriott International are two of the top brands including Snapchat in their mobile marketing strategies (see story).

Macy?s enabled fans to get glimpses of 2014 Black Friday specials via Snapchat, while Marriott rolled out an interactive series filled with stories, as part of its ?Travel Brilliantly? campaign.

?What social media in 2015 has realized that it is not about image aggregation, it about narrative,? said Gary Schwartz, CEO of Impact Mobile, New York. ?Unlike Instagram, Snapchat has embraced storytelling and continues to keep its market lead.

?Brands seeking engagement need to latch on to any platform that allows for social narrative.?

Meanwhile, Mountain Dew plans to use the app to offer a real-time, consumer-driven Snapchat story alongside a variety of extensions through other sharing sites such as Vine and Facebook.

Mountain Dew was not able to discuss specifics of its Snapchat plans, but will likely use it to develop a personal connection with fans of the beverage. Brands have found the ?Our Stories? feature of the app, which is visible to the public, to be an effective storytelling device.

This past fall, the World Series opted to send fans video snippets via Snapchat of moments captured by attendees, offering a real-life glimpse at what a game experience may feel like by displaying real individuals uploading their reactions to game moments (see story).

Strong media support
Mtn Dew Kickstart, which was introduced two years ago and remains one of Pepsi Co?s top beverage product launches of the past decade, will also be reaching consumers via a new Web site,

A television commercial, dubbed ?Come Alive? and featuring a track by A-Trak and Milo & Otis, will be shown to viewers of the Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game Show, in addition to national radio promotions.

Fans that are clamoring to taste the new flavors may receive the opportunity to encounter one of five Mtn Dew Kickstart trucks that will be hitting roads across the nation for an eight month sampling tour. Expected stops include retail locations, sporting venues and college campuses.

However, for those that will not be able to visit the Kickstart trucks to get their first interaction with the drinks, social media remains the best bet for telling a narrative that displays how Mtn Dew Kickstart can fit into a consumer?s life.

?Dove, Nike, Dew all have powerful brand stories that require strong media support,? Mr. Schwartz said. ?Snapchat stories can offer brands both storytelling currency as well as the UGC channel to allow the consumer to participate and engage in a campaign.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York