What happens when you combine two big trends in technology and offer a unique experience to consumers? Leading soda brand Mountain Dew attempted to answer that question in July when it held its own esports watch party in metaverse platform Decentraland. Esports and the metaverse have both captured the attention of major brands recently.
While Mountain Dew has sponsored numerous esports orgs and tournaments (Envy Gaming and ESL to name just a couple), this was the brand’s first foray into the metaverse. The company hosted a simulcast on a virtual screen within Decentraland of the New York Subliners playing in the Call of Duty League Major IV tournament. The event also provided fans with Mountain Dew-themed wearables for their avatars, mini-games to play, and more.
Mountain Dew said in an earlier statement about its relationship with ESL that it’s been a part of the gaming world for more than a decade. In fact, at the end of 2020, the company took the extra step of opening a direct-to-consumer store tied to its Game Fuel brand aimed at the gaming audience, and it ran a sweepstakes to give away a PlayStation 5 and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. The digital store also provided customer loyalty rewards and the opportunity to unlock exclusive digital content, discount codes, and access to limited-edition merchandise.
PepsiCo, which owns the Mountain Dew brand, told Adweek that its new metaverse presence is just the start of a series of “Web3-related activations that PepsiCo’s Demand Accelerator and PepsiCo Labs plan to hold across different portfolio brands as the soft drink and snack conglomerate continues to experiment with how to best reach consumers in these cryptocurrency-adjacent spaces.”
While the majority of esports viewing happens on streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, it’s unclear what kind of viewership the watch party within Decentraland generated. Nevertheless, Mountain Dew’s continual ties to esports and gaming have produced results, as the beverage remains one of the most frequently purchased soda brands among esports viewers in the US, according to data from Interpret’s New Media Measure®. Among esports viewers, 17% purchase Mountain Dew weekly compared to 11% of the general population. Additionally, esports viewers purchase more soda from the leading brands compared to the general population, which is why we’ve seen numerous esports activations from these companies in recent years.
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