Mountain Dew’s ‘Dark Knight’ Tie-In Sees NASCAR Makeover


Fans of NASCAR racing, The Dark Knight film franchise and Mountain Dew start your engines.


A collaboration between PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew, Warner Bros ‘The Dark Knight’ and NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr offers fans the chance to give Earnhardt’s No 88 car a Batman makeover for the 15 June race at Michigan.


Leveraging Diet Mountain Dew’s sponsorship of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Chevy, members of the team’s ‘DEW Crew’ (a brand-led online club that shares content around the NASCAR team) can vote to select which of four Dark Knight paint schemes the car will race in.


Each paint scheme captures a different element featured in the third and final instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Earnhardt himself will also get his own signature “Dark Knight” look thanks to a custom fire suit.


‘I’ve always been a big fan of the Batman movies, so having a special ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ -inspired paint scheme on my car is pretty cool for me,’ said Earnhardt Jr, who races for Hendrick Motorsports. ‘I had some creative input on one of the designs, but no matter which one the fans select, it’s going to look pretty awesome flying around the track at Michigan.’


Voting begins in mid May on www.dewcrew.com with a link from the site to Diet Mountain Dew’s Facebook page.


The Dark Knight, this summer’s most anticipated blockbuster, opens on 20 July and the NASCAR element kicks off a wider tie-up between film and soft drinks brand which is being leveraged through a multi-pronged campaign.


The initiative revolves around the audience synergy of 18 to 24-year-old millennials – the core target for both Mountain Dew and the movie. This consumer segment also shares a core psychographic, according to ssenior Mountain Dew marketing manager Zach Harris. They desire to be different, to make bold, distinctive choices and have bold, distinctive experiences.


The aim of the drinks’ brand campaign is to engage and reward existing fans and attract new ones from the ranks of Dark Knight film goers. The approach is to immerse fans in the world of the Caped Crusader through customized experiences.


The campaign centres around an online destination, www.dewgothamcity.com, that offers exclusive content, sneak scene peeks, trailers and storyline tips. Some of this content will be open to all, while some will require entry of a product code from 20-ounce or 2-liter Mountain Dew bottles, 12- or 24-multi-packs, or fountain cups from restaurants or movie theatres.


The product codes will also be used to offer fans thee chance to win a set of exclusive Mountain Dew/Dark Knight Rises prizes.


Interactive elements will include Pongr activities, like uploading pictures of themselves with Dew or dressed up as villains, in which fans can participate for chances to win extra points and prizes. One prize: One of only five existing copies of the movie’s script signed by Christopher Nolan, its director, co-writer and one of its producers.


The brand is also offering a limited-time, Batman-inspired new flavor, Mountain Dew Dark Berry in June. Other product extensions includes limited edition 16-ounce cans with thermochromic ink to feature a bat symbol that, when the cans are chilled, turns from silver to Dew green.


The campaign will also be supported by point-of-purchase displays in stores, TV advertising, radio and online work.




This is not the first tie-in for the film, indeed, its not evebn the first sport collaboration. As ESPN ran twin-themed intercut trailers that synched the forthcoming moving and NBA Playoffs.



These days brand/movie tie-in campaigns are hardly novel, but from the brand’s point of view this programme is one of the deeper ones in recent years and certainly goes deeper than many with a wide range of touch points and interaction in addition to placement and/or limited edition products.


Of course for the movie studio, the collaboration engages with the enormous NASCAR fan base to help raise awareness and sell more tickets.











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