Forrest Whitaker, best known around the Apartment of Biz for his primadonna act when working on the BMW Films, is one of the brains behind DEWmocracry as AdPulp reports (In a huge coup – to me at least – the ‘Pulp got the story after me – I scooped someone with a bigger following, hooray! I am a loser).
But back to Dew. Whitaker’s comments on the project make me use the term “brains” as more of a placeholder word than a descriptor word:
“Mountain Dew offered me an amazing opportunity to create a mythic universe using all forms of storytelling that will allow those who participate to develop their product… This is about taking a stance and making things happen. It’s about empowering people and allowing them to express themselves and create something that represents who they are.”
Mountain Dew is allowing consumers to create, within guidelines, a drink flavor and packaging and then letting them vote on the three brand-acceptable options. That is not consumer choice, it’s a giant focus group.
I do think that this is a cool idea because it is more control and influence than consumers usually get (though I don’t like the dark, Orwellian nature of it or the World of Warcraft graphics and storyline). I just don’t think that it’s about empowerment or expression.
It’s about selling soda.
I know that I am being negative – this always happens when I travel. But seriously. Consumers just get to help choose which (innovation-tested and brand-approved) flavor will go to market earlier than the others, they don’t have actual control.