Mtn Dew records audio activation with basketball-themed podcast

Dive brief:

  • Mtn Dew is launching a podcast on professional basketball and the origin stories of its players, according to information shared with Marketing Dive in an interview. Hosted by comedian and influencer Druski, the new project will feature athletes and celebrities as guests and run from May 18 during the NBA playoffs.
  • “The Dew Zone with Druski” is a partnership between Mtn Dew and the sports podcasting platform Blue Wire. It will be an eight to 10 episode series exploring the ins and outs of the lives of NBA and WNBA players and their ascents to success, according to a representative from Blue Wire. The audio will work on all podcast platforms, including Apple, Spotify and Stitcher, and will be promoted through the social channels of Mtn Dew and Blue Wire, as well as the latter’s audio channels.
  • Mtn Dew’s first-branded podcast sees the PepsiCo drink dipping its toes into audio at a hot time for growth support, as well as targeting young consumers on a platform they increasingly inhabit.

Dive overview:

“The Dew Zone with Druski” is Mtn Dew’s first crack in a media channel that has seen tremendous growth during the pandemic. While in March and April 2020, podcasts saw a slight drop in downloads as fewer people commuted to work, support has rebounded strongly and total ad revenue is now expected to exceed $ 2 billion by 2023, according to the IAB forecast this week. Many brands are getting into the action by sponsoring podcast content, with branded ads now accounting for 45% of total ad revenue, according to the IAB report.

What’s important about Mtn Dew’s podcast is that the beverage company produced the content itself, in partnership with Blue Wire. This hands-on role could help Mtn Dew engage his audience more directly than he could as a sponsor. Audience engagement is one of the main reasons Mtn Dew is launching a podcast to begin with, with a representative from Blue Wire, as it provides a chance to target young basketball fans on a platform where Generation Z accounts for almost half (49%) of monthly listeners, according to a Statista survey.

Professional basketball is an area in which Mtn Dew’s marketing is already very active. The PepsiCo brand is the official soft drink sponsor of the NBA and WNBA, a partnership renewed this year, and in March, Mtn Dew developed a mobile game with NBA player Zion Williamson. Last week, the brand tapped superstar LeBron James in a new ad for its Mtn Dew Rise Energy morning drink.

“The Dew Zone with Druski” also sees Mtn Dew harnessing influencer marketing by teaming up with a young comedian with 2.4 million followers on Instagram and 1.1 million followers on TikTok. As social apps continue to attract Gen Z, brands are spending more of their budgets on the artists and creators who consistently reach these consumers. In March, Mtn Dew recruited influencers on TikTok to promote its auction of a “lost episode” of Bob Ross’ former TV show, “The Joy of Painting.”

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