- Mtn Dew will introduce an "outdoor enthusiasts' playground" called the Mtn Dew Outpost at the Doe Mountain Recreation Area outside of Mountain City, Tennessee, per details emailed to Marketing Dive. Along with the outpost, the PepsiCo brand will donate funds to support additional mountain activities and the expansion of new trails at Doe Mountain.
- The brand will also appoint a Mtn Dew Outpost Ranger who will be responsible for managing the outpost and a variety of activities for one week. Fans can apply online through Jan. 14 via mtndewoutpost.com and one winner will receive a $5,000 payment, travel, accommodations, a Mtn Dew-branded uniform and a Polaris Ranger vehicle.
- Along with the Outpost, Mtn Dew's grant to Doe Mountain will be used to produce sustainable jobs for the local community and generate funding to keep activities running long-term. It is part of the $1.25 million the brand has donated in total this year to support outdoor activities.
Mtn Dew's efforts to develop and expand activities near Doe Mountain — an 8,600-acre area in the state where the beverage was first created — is the brand's latest attempt to connect with consumers over the love of the outdoors, which has been a key part of its brand identity for years.
"Our fans are exploring the outdoors now more than ever; it's the perfect time to return to Tennessee, and give back to the community," Pat O'Toole, the brand's vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "While Mtn Dew will pay homage to its name and roots at Doe Mountain, we're aspiring to leave a bigger impact, supporting further development of the mountain and fueling outdoor enthusiasts' passions."
The effort combines several marketing tactics, including experiential activations and purpose-driven elements. The Outpost, set to open in May 2022, will feature a mountain-side overlook and viewing platform, and will give the brand a foothold from which to launch outdoor activities and product tastings. Experiential activations, especially ones in the outdoors or in secluded areas, have become more popular as COVID-19 continues to affect in-person and indoor events. Similarly, Busch Light hosted an outdoor co-working space called TreeWork in the woodlands of Northern Colorado, while KFC is giving consumers a chance to stay at a secluded cabin in Kentucky.
The search for a one-week ranger extends the effort and allows the brand to collect increasingly valuable first-party data. The creation of the position, which includes a one-time payment, access to special products and a new utility vehicle, is in line with efforts by other brands — including Bud Light, Nissin Foods' Top Ramen and Hasbro's Nerf — to create fictional C-suite positions to connect with their most-engaged fans.
In addition to the outpost and the ranger position, Mtn Dew will also work to make Doe Mountain a well-rounded and diverse area for outdoor enthusiasts by funding jobs and keeping new activities funded. This continued funding allows the brand to avoid claims of purpose-washing as it looks to make a meaningful commitment to the outdoors and nature.
Clarification: This story has been updated to more accurately describe Mtn Dew's involvement with the outpost building. The brand gave the existing structure a makeover.