- Pepsi is launching a new campaign featuring the Uncle Drew character first introduced in 2012 by basketball player Kyrie Irving. The new campaign lands in time for the begging of the NBS All-Star weekend with a dedicated website, per a company press release.
- The UncleDrew.com website includes merchandise, behind-the-scenes footage of the cast's character transformations and the entire catalog of episodes featuring the character.
- "With the availability of brand new Uncle Drew merchandise on UncleDrew.com, we are really able to show the evolution of the Uncle Drew brand which keeps fans connected at multiple touch points both on and off the screen," said Aziel Rivers, Director, Pepsi Marketing, in the press release.
During the holiday season, brands including Cheetos and Oreo both launched branded e-commerce websites, and even though Pepsi’s promotion is a brand character rather than the brand itself, Rivers’ emphasis on the merchandise element of the campaign indicates branded e-commerce continues as an interesting marketing tactic for consumer brands.
As brick-and-mortar retailers continue to struggle, brands are finding an opportunity to build direct relationships with consumers through a mix of content and commerce online with a lifestyle approach. In the press release, Lou Arbetter, General Manager, Creators League Studio, PepsiCo’s in-house content group, said that “today's consumers want to live the brand as much as consume it” and that Pepsi is excited about the launch of the website and corresponding merchandise line.
While Pepsi is taking a decidedly digital approach to its All-Star efforts, Mountain Dew is going hands-on with a number of live events during the NBA event in New Orleans this weekend and a partnership with Turner Sports’ TV, digital and social marketing channels.