Mtn Dew Keeps D2C, Gamer Connection Alive

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The direct connection between consumer packaged goods (CPG) and the gaming business continues to strengthen. In fact, this week they became inseparable, because Mtn Dew has introduced a soda aimed at gamers with a loyalty program to drive gameplay as well as purchases.

The new Mtn Dew brand is called Game Fuel. Not only is the product new, but it is attached to a direct-to-consumer (D2C) shopping experience and an exclusive eCommerce site. The “direct-to-gamer” site launched Friday (Dec. 18) as the primary marketplace for all seven Game Fuel products along with a sweepstakes, shopping codes, exclusive influencer offerings and content, and the aforementioned loyalty rewards program.

The offerings on the site start with a limited-edition Mtn Dew Game Fuel “Dr Disrespect” collectible can that is available on the Mtn Dew Game Fuel site with the purchase of any case of Game Fuel starting Dec. 21. The site will also host Mtn Dew Game Fuel Victory Pass Rewards, a new program designed “to keep Game Fuel in gamers’ hands, and their heads in the game.” By purchasing cases of Mtn Dew Game Fuel and Mtn Dew Game Fuel Zero, gamers will have the chance to unlock rewards, including 2XP in the newest Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War game.

“We’re excited to bring the entire Game Fuel portfolio together to live in one dedicated place online,” said Nicole Portwood, vice president of marketing for Mtn Dew and Mtn Dew Game Fuel. “The site will deliver a dynamic shopping experience to our fans and not only brings them the Game Fuel they know and love, but unlocks an entire ecosystem of value and entertainment. We’re always striving to do more for our fans and for the spaces we work and play in; the launch of our DTG site marks a pivotal next step to drive innovation in gaming for DEW.”

The Butterfinger brand has also been into gaming. Along with Halo Infinite, it created a minigame called Butterfinger Halo Havoc, available for a limited time on Twitch. According to the gamer site Bleeding Cool, it has hired a set of gamers to play online to compete against each other and the gamers that log on. Says the site: “Unlike other promotions where it’s simply one thing slapped on another, they at least created a game that’s interactive and you can play it.”

The pandemic has been one of the factors driving D2C entries from CPG companies. According to Rakuten Advertising, nearly 60 percent of shoppers say they’ve tried new brands since the pandemic started.

“Consumers who needed items that their normally trusted brick-and-mortar or online shop could not provide didn’t seem to hesitate in trying alternative brands that could provide the desired product or service when they needed them,” Ben Speight, EVP and director of client services at marketing agency Lockard & Wechsler Direct, told AdExchanger. “Not only did D2Cs benefit from having a wider range of new customers to draw in, but the negative impact on advertising costs gave them a leg up on the competition.”

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