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November 16, 2007

DEWmocracy Millennial Brand Naming at Work

MD_logo.gifPepsi's new DEWmocracy initiative, which allows consumers to literally create the new Mountain Dew brand name, as well as "every aspect of the new drink, including color, flavor and label graphics" is pretty exciting.

It includes a nifty online movie directed by Forrest Whitaker and a complex game that, according to Beneath the Brand, takes the whole effort "far beyond any create your own commercial."

However, The daily (ad) biz isn't too impressed, stating that consumers ultimately wind up voting on three "brand acceptable" options, and DEWmocracy "is not consumer choice, it's a giant focus group."

Maybe so, but this is clearly an initiative to bring in the younger generation. It seems that when the product names are created, for the Facebook generation, (DEWmocracy has a page, of course) the more hands-on interaction you provide, the better.

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Posted by William Lozito at November 16, 2007 9:12 AM
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It's an intriguing approach...

Rather than being concerned with the outcome in any real sense (and that includes what to call it, what it looks like, and the rest of the factors) they're relying on having an audience so invested in the product itself that the actual brand won't really matter.

I await the results with interest. My nose tells me this one may launch big, but will lose interest quickly. If it works it'll become an common and tired practice faster than you can say "focus group."

Even if the end result for voters will be three carefully selected, PepsiCo approved choices, the products will come from the original user creations.

I look forward to seeing how this turns out, and I even started an account to play the game. We'll see!

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