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Mountain Dew scales up VR content strategy with Shazam, dedicated hub

PepsiCo?s Mountain Dew is scaling up its virtual reality content strategy with a new campaign on Shazam, YouTube 360, Facebook 360 and a dedicated hub, for an immersive experience showcasing two limited-edition flavors and encouraging viewers to vote for their favorite. 

The Mountain Dew effort, the brand?s first to use VR as a content channel as part of larger, integrated campaign, showcases how virtual reality boosts mobile?s importance in product development with more immersive experiences, in this case via a tie-in with several NASCAR drivers. While the content is available for the Oculus headset, it is also found on a number of different mobile platforms, including bringing the first branded VR content to Shazam.  

?Mobile played a huge role in this effort,? said Stinson Parks, digital marketing manager at Mountain Dew. ?We know our consumer is spending a large amount of time on their mobile devices, so as we thought through how to scale the VR content to reach a broader audience, it was always mobile-first. 

?The new hub was just launched to seamlessly deliver the experience right in the palm of your hand, as well as Facebook and YouTube?s 360 player where we?ve launched the experience in 360 video format,? he said. 

?Additionally, the Shazam partnership is another great extension on mobile, integrating Dew products and a mobile-centric app for a unique, interactive experience.?

In the driver?s seat
Mountain Dew, which is known for being an early adopter of cutting-edge digital technology, was looking to take advantage of virtual reality?s growing impact on consumers and how they engage with brands, games and technology. 

The VR experience for the new Dewcision 2016 campaign, which can also be played on an Oculus VR headset, puts fans in the virtual driver?s seat next to three of NASCAR?s most popular drivers ? Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott. Users can race through worlds powered by two limited-edition flavors Baja Blast ? represented by California beach and desert ? and Pitch Black, which is evoked by a neon-lit futuristic cityscape. 

Experiencing the content gives viewers a chance to vote on which flavor stays on the shelves. 

The content will first be available to racing fans at the JR Motorsports Fan Day on May 26 and 27 as well as on YouTube 360, Facebook 360 and through the Milk VR library.

Shazam Visual
Mountain Dew is the first brand to launch a VR campaign on Shazam, giving users the opportunity to experience exclusive VR content when they scan Pitch Black or Baja Blast bottles using Visual Shazam. 

When users scan one of the bottles using Visual Shazam, they arrive at a landing page where they are asked if they have a VR viewer such as a Google cardboard. Those who do can watch the VR video. Those who do not will watch a 360 video controlled by their phone. 

After watching either video, users resolve in a mobile-optimized site where they can cast their vote for their favorite flavor. 

?Dew and Shazam will promote the integration across both brands? channels, as well as through digital media within the Shazam app,? Mr. Parks said. ?Starting later this week, fans can Shazam either Mtn Dew Baja Blast or Mtn Dew Pitch Black to unlock the exclusive VR content.? 

Mountain Dew is also launching what it claims is a first-of-its-kind dedicated VR hub at All of the brand?s VR content will be featured here and playable straight from a mobile phone. 

Decision time
The campaign boasts one of the first pieces of branded content leveraging the latest in Oculus VR hardware and gaming/CGI software. 

The VR strategy is part of a larger Dewcision 2016 campaign that includes voting on a campaign micro site, sharing designated media, uploading a social profile image from the brand?s image-maker, Tweeting with the hostage #VotePitchBlack or #VoteBajaBlast and completing a challenge. 

The winning flavor will find a more permanent place on shelves after the summer. 
?As a brand, Dew focuses on providing never-been-done-before experiences for Dew Nation, and we know that our fans have passion for gaming, action sports and in this case, racing,? Mr. Parks said. ?We found the perfect opportunity to bring together cutting-edge technology and racing as part of our larger Dewcision 2016 campaign to give fans a first-person perspective on the virtual race track ? and a chance to vote for their favorite flavor of Dew.?