- Mountain Dew unveiled in a news release a "Give Your Head a Mtn Dew Kickstart" campaign starring actor and comedian Kevin Hart. The effort features a series of 15-second spots showing what goes through Hart's head as he drinks the morning-focused beverage.
- One of the spots, "Slap," which premiered during the NBA Playoffs, shows Hart and his double getting hyped up to play basketball. In "Wrestler," WWE Hall of Famer "Mean" Gene Okerlund interviews Hart as he channels his wrestling persona, which resembles Macho Man Randy Savage. "Chopper" shows Hart revving the engine of a neon-green motorcycle.
- The commercials can be viewed on Mountain Dew's social channels and on YouTube. The push is part of Mountain Dew Kickstart's yearlong partnership with the comedian on a 360-degree campaign that includes TV, digital, social and experiential elements and that integrates with Hart's Irresponsible Tour. The partnership rolled out during the 2018 NBA All-Star event with a #CourtSidekickContest where a fan won the chance to hang out with Hart at an NBA Playoff game.
Hart is currently one the most bankable comedians in America, and Mountain Dew continues to try and leverage that popularity and the star's signature high-energy sense of humor to bring some spark to marketing its caffeinated Kickstart beverage. The focus on short, 15-second videos show the brand putting the focus more squarely on digital for this leg of the yearlong partnership, as shorter video ads tend to perform well on the channel. The #CourtSidekickContest included more robust multichannel elements, including a pop-experience called Courtside Studios.
Marketers have long signed on celebrities like Hart as spokespeople, but the appeal of recognizable faces may be waning, especially among younger demographics. A majority of millennials, or 78%, either don't like or are indifferent to celebrity endorsements, according research from Roth Capital Partners. Only 7.5% of those surveyed for the study said they would be more likely to make a purchase based on a celebrity endorsement.
Mountain Dew's parent company PepsiCo has been bolstering the brand lately, including through a popular Super Bowl campaign with Morgan Freeman that unveiled Mountain Dew Ice. In a call discussing first quarter earnings in April, PepsiCo executives also announced plans to accelerate the company's marketing spend across its beverage portfolio to better compete with rival Coca-Cola.