As further evidence of the increasing threat crowdsourcing poses to advertising agencies (at least to those whose fees outweigh their creativity or insight), PepsiCo’s Mtn Dew will reward marketing duties for a $100 million-plus business to a consumer-picked player. A contest beginning this month will allow any agency, independent film company or individual to submit 12-second clips outlining their ideas for marketing three new Mtn Dew line extensions via www.12seconds.tv. Consumers will vote for the top talent, whom will be awarded an assignment for the products.
As further step towards tapping the wisdom of the masses, the themselves were even crowdsourced. The extremely named products – Distortion, Whiteout and Typhoon -resulted from Dewmocracy, a Facebook-based initiative designed to open up product development to consumers. Dewmocracy brands accounted for 25 million cases in sales last year – nearly two hundred million dollars. By comparison, Coca-Cola’s Coke Zero – a major growth engine and core brand – sold 96 million cases last year. As new entrants to the category, these three Mtn Dew brands’ volumes are hardly miniscule.
The brand insists this initiative will not impact its relationship with agency of record BBDO Worldwide, who has been involved with Dewmocracy from the start and will continue to play an important role in the process.
“Most agency relationships, they’re still the brand steward. They understand the brand they’re working with at an almost molecular level,” said Chick Foxgrover, 4A’s chief information officer. “It’s unclear whether [crowd-sourcing] will be a trend that takes hold in a universal way or whether it’s more of an experiment. … In general, there’s a lot of experimentation going on in agency compensation. This fits into the context of that larger conversation.”