Mtn Dew's brandless cans reveal 'Game of Thrones' content when chilled
- PepsiCo's Mtn Dew partnered with HBO to celebrate the series finale of "Game of Thrones" by unveiling a white, brandless, limited edition can it is calling "A Can Has No Name," according to details shared with Marketing Dive. The consumer packaged goods marketer is calling the stunt the "ultimate sacrifice" #ForTheThrone, a reference to the popular show's storyline.
- The cans are printed with thermodynamic ink and appear blank when they're warm, but reveal the kill list for the show's character Arya when chilled. Mtn Dew released a video unveiling the campaign and tapped NBA All-Star Joel Embiid to tease #ForTheThrone on social media. Mtn Dew also removed all of its branding on its social media channels.
- To get one of the limited-edition cans, fans can visit Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and share what they would sacrifice #ForTheThrone using hashtags #ACanHasNoName, #ForTheThrone and #MTNDEWsweepstakes. Fans in New York City and Los Angeles will also have a chance to get one of the cans by finding the "Masters of Coin," saying a password and receiving a coin. They will be led to an Iron Vending Machine, where the coin will dispense a can. More details about the experiential activation will be revealed on social media.
The Mtn Dew campaign's teaser with NBA star Joel Embiid racked up more than 1.5 million views on Twitter, and hundreds of fans had already entered the sweepstakes on the site a few hours after it launched, suggesting the "Game of Thrones"-themed campaign could be a winner for PepsiCo. In addition to the tie-in with one of the most popular shows on TV for its final season, the campaign is noteworthy for taking limited-edition product releases — a trend over the past year with consumer brands across many categories — in a unique direction by using thermodynamic ink, making the cans more engaging and likely to be something fans will want to get their hands on. Limited-edition branded merchandise often gets snapped up quickly and gives brands a social media boost.
Removing a brand name from a product could seem like a risky move to some marketers, but Mtn Dew's brandless can is just the latest example of brands tweaking their logos or brand names to drum up excitement. The results, however, have been mixed. A much-talked-about example from last summer saw IHOP change its name to IHOb, with the "b" standing for "burgers." The company saw a four-times sales increase and millions of earned media impressions. McDonald's last year flipped its iconic Golden Arches sign from an "M" to a "W" to represent women for International Women's Day. However, the campaign fell flat and drew criticism.
"Game of Thrones" has been a popular tie-in recently. Mtn Dew's campaign follows limited-edition "Game of Thrones” Oreos. The Mondelez brand recently teased the release on Instagram with the tagline, "Cookies are coming," in a reference to the oft-repeated title of the first episode of the series, "Winter Is Coming." Dating app OkCupid this week added a profile badge that aims to connect fans of the show. Previously, Bud Light ran a co-branded ad with HBO during the Super Bowl, featuring the show's theme music and an appearance by a dragon. Last fall, Diageo's Johnnie Walker announced a "Game of Thrones"-themed White Walker by Johnnie Walker spirit, inspired by the show's zombie-like antagonists.
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