- Mountain Dew, a PepsiCo brand, has named comedian Kevin Hart its new brand ambassador and kicked off the year-long partnership with a new campaign, "Closer than Courtside," where one fan and a friend can attend the 2018 NBA playoffs, a news release announced. The effort promotes two new flavors — Original Dew and Ultra Original Dew.
- Through March 19, fans can enter the #CourtSidekickContest by creating a social media post showing why they are the perfect “CourtSidekick” and using the contest hashtag on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Hart and Mountain Dew judges will choose five finalists, and fans will get the chance to vote for the winner, who can bring a friend to hang out with Hart courtside at the NBA playoffs. The winner will be announced April 5.
- The first installment of a new video series “Courtside Do’s and Don’ts with Kevin Hart” has also been released, giving fans a humorous look at how to “kick it courtside” with the comedian. The year-long campaign featuring Hart also includes TV, digital, social and experiential marketing, and an integration with Hart’s latest comedy tour. Mountain Dew kicked off the campaign during NBA All-Star 2018 with a pop-up experience.
As live sports TV viewership continues to decline, some marketers are embracing an integrated, multichannel approach to target sports fans, especially younger sports fans, who still follow their favorite sports, teams and players but rarely watch full games. Instead, sports fans are more likely to use social media to message other fans, check stats or watch highlights or other sports content.
Mountain Dew’s new "Closer than Courtside" campaign showcases the pivot toward 360-degree marketing campaigns that reach consumers at a number of different touch points. The celebrity appearance of Hart, sweepstakes and emphasis on digital video will drive social media engagement around a specific product and encourage sales. Creating campaigns that encourage social media sharing give brands a leg up in reaching younger generations of consumers.
The 360-degree approach has been a big focus so far this year for Mountain Dew and PepsiCo. For its 2018 Super Bowl ad campaign, the company released a joint spot for products Doritos Blaze and Mtn Dew Ice featuring actors Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage, who were paired with musicians Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes, respectively, for a lip-sync rap battle. The commercial was teased early on social media and then released in full online ahead of the game. Fans were encouraged to take a side in a social media campaign, where they could share their own performances using an exclusive Snapchat lens and branded hashtags #SpitFire or #IceCold.