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Dew contest comes to campus

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There are two members of the "Dew Crew" on each of the 50 campuses who promote the "Dew D.,”Mountain Dew has a new promotional campaign, called the Dew Crew College Ambassador Program, which targets college students on 50 campuses nationwide, including Marquette.

There are two members of the "Dew Crew" on each of the 50 campuses who promote the "Dew D.I.Y." contest, sponsored by PepsiCo.

Marquette's Dew Crew members are Kyle Craine, a junior in the College of Business Administration, and Haley Landsman, a senior in the College of Communication.

Justin Toman, assistant marketing manager for the Mountain Dew brand team, said the campaign was developed in response to the high number of fan images and consumer-created Mountain Dew products on the Internet.

"We wanted to harness that creativeness surrounding Mountain Dew," Toman said.

Because college students are the core consumers of Mountain Dew and they are a creative group, Toman said they are the target group for the campaign.

Dennis Garrett, associate professor of marketing, said companies often advertise on college campuses, particularly those that consider college students their target market.

"One of the things those companies are trying to accomplish is called buzz marketing," Garrett said.

Buzz marketing, Garrett said, is accomplished when groups of people working for a company say favorable things about a product to their friends.

Marketing professor Gene Laczniak said buzz marketing has been used for many years and is more effective than two-dimensional advertising.

"As you increase involvement of an individual with a product in any form, that's going to increase brand awareness and preference," Laczniak said.

Toman said Mountain Dew College Ambassadors were chosen from among 10,000 applicants for their organizational and leadership skills, and their involvement in campus activities.

Craine and Landsman have been creating buzz about the Dew Crew campaign though promotional giveaways on campus and a Facebook group called "Marquette Dew Enthusiasts."

Landsman said the campaign is being launched in three parts: Game and Tech, Gear and Art. Students are encouraged to submit photos of original Mountain Dew creations, such as logos and games integrating the brand name, to DewDIY.com.

The top entries from each campus, Landsman said, will be showcased in the Web site's Dew Gallery. There will also be an event in the Alumni Memorial Union to choose a Marquette winner from each category. Winners will receive $250 and a chance at the $5,000 grand prize, Toman said. Mountain Dew may also produce winners' products in limited quantities.

Craine said the campaign is based in New York, so people from headquarters communicate with the colleges through conference calls and e-mails.

While Craine said he received promotional materials from Mountain Dew and it is a paid position, he doesn't have "like a lifetime supply of Mountain Dew or anything."

Garrett said this sort of marketing raises ethical questions if student representatives don't tell their peers they are employed by the company they are promoting.

"I do think that crosses a boundary," Garrett said.

Craine and Landsman plan to meet with residence hall representatives to generate a competition between them as their next promotional activity.

Landsman said Mountain Dew is an interactive and forward thinking brand, which is why the company is running this campaign.

"I think they wanted a hands-on experience on college campuses," Landsman said.

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