How Mountain Dew has turned courage into a successful marketing strategy

Mountain Dew, the beverage brand from PepsiCo India recently partnered with Ranveer Allahbadia and The Ranveer Show. Through the special ‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai’ stories, the brand aims to fuel the courage that resides in every individual, encouraging them to triumph over challenges and redefine their limits. Well-known personalities, including Yuvraj Singh, Mary Kom, Vikas Khanna, Bhumi Pednekar, among others, have bared their life journey and insecurities openly on the show, with many more to feature in the coming month.
In an exclusive interaction with Adgully, Akankshaa Dalal, Category Head – Mountain Dew, PepsiCo India, delves into the details of the brand;s recent partnership with Ranveer Allahbadia and The Ranveer Show. She discusses the ad spend for Mountain Dew in the current year and how Mountain Dew is actively engaging with the Gen Z and Gen Alpha demographics.
Dalal also addresses the rising health concerns among consumers and outlines the marketing strategies employed by Mountain Dew to resonate with its target audience. Furthermore, she sheds light on how the Mountain Dew category performed in 2023.
What prompted Mountain Dew’s recent partnership with Ranveer Allahbadia and The Ranveer Show? How does Mountain Dew anticipate this collaboration adding value to the brand and enhancing the consumer experience?
The inception of ‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai’ stories was driven by a crucial element – the desire to fortify Mountain Dew’s ‘Conquer with Courage’ proposition and recognize that fear is a real emotion everyone feels and not an emotion to shy away from. The brand wants to emphasize that fear knows no fixed scale, measure, boundary nor a person’s stature. In alignment with this philosophy, we opted to join forces with The Ranveer Show, leveraging the   diverse fan base to amplify our message across the landscapes of India. With a firm focus on the younger audiences and a commitment to spotlight various tales of courage we partnered with celebrated personalities from across fields who injected a unique perspective into the narrative, sparking meaningful dialogues that inspire audiences to acknowledge and then rise above their fears. The stories shared by the guests marked a positive stride in destigmatizing and normalizing conversations around fear.
Could you provide information on the ad spend for Mountain Dew in the current year?
Over the past two years, there has been a notable shift in media consumption with the access to the internet across the country, popularity of various AVOD and social platforms, rise of digital platforms and creators. This transformation has compelled brands to adapt to the changing landscape. Marketers are re- evaluating their strategies to ensure they are present on digital and maintaining their share of voice across the right media and be effective. And Mountain Dew is no different, we want to be where our customer is, and make media choices that are customer backward.
While we cannot share the ad spends as a company policy, we as a brand remain committed to investing in places and content that will help us to strengthen our bond with the consumers.
‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai’ has been synonymous with Mountain Dew for a long time. How does the brand plan to evolve this campaign? Are there new elements or changes in the works?
Mountain Dew always wants to stay relatable to its Indian consumers, and so we transitioned from the global message of ‘Do the Dew’ to a more local tagline of ‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai’. The brand has consistently inspired individuals to push their boundaries, overcome fear and aspire for greatness through courage. In the past year, our focus shifted from a high-octane interpretation of ‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai’ to a nuanced acknowledgment that fear is subjective, devoid of a definitive scale, boundary, or personal stature.
Mountain Dew, as a brand, aspires to take the lead in recognizing that each of us are confronting fear in our everyday life, this fear may or may not be measurable, physical, or even visible. ‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai’ is this inspiring war cry to help us push our limits and see victory on the other side of fear.  Beyond projecting an external image of strength, courage, and bravery, it also underscores that fortune favours the brave, and this courage is way beyond just physical strength.
Our commitment lies in bringing powerful stories of courage to life, with the hope that it contributes to important conversations, especially among our consumers in Tier II and III cities across India. This endeavour serves as a testament to the brand values and beliefs we are dedicated to championing.
How is Mountain Dew actively engaging with the GenZ and Gen Alpha demographics?
Mountain Dew, as a brand, actively embraces formats, channels, and influencers that strongly resonate with the younger demographic in India. Recognizing the importance of engaging with the Gen Z, we strategically collaborate with key opinion leaders and leverage platforms that appeal to the youth. In line with this approach, we recently partnered with one of the top podcasters in the country, ‘The Ranveer Show’ hosted by Ranveer Allahbadia. The primary goal was to expand and diversify our brand’s reach by tapping into the real-life ‘Conquer with Courage’ narratives shared by youth icons, veterans, and Bollywood celebrities like Yuvraj Singh, Kapil Dev, Bhumi Pednekar, among others. This collaboration serves as a deliberate effort to connect with the audience, particularly the youth, through a contemporary and relevant format that aligns with their preferences.
Given the increasing health concerns among consumers, what marketing strategies is Mountain Dew employing to resonate with its target audience?
Mountain Dew belongs to the ‘Fun for You’ beverages category at PepsiCo India, where our aim is to offer a diverse range of flavours and cater to the varied taste preferences of our consumers. Through our stories we believe that our brand delivers more than just taste, our consumers see it as ‘courage in a bottle’. As a brand and through our message we will continue to inspire our consumers to acknowledge their fears and rise above them.
Mountain Dew is one of the key scale brands within the PepsiCo India portfolio, and one of the largest brands in the portfolio. We remain committed to continuous growth and strengthening our position in our target markets across the country.
Could you highlight some of the trends observed by Mountain Dew in the cold beverage market in 2023?
The beverage landscape in India is undergoing notable shifts, particularly in the cold beverages sector. Home consumption has seen a significant uptick. Consumer behaviour changes, attributed to the impact of the pandemic, are driving a demand for larger packs, emphasizing value for money in purchasing decisions. While the sector still relies heavily on bottled soft drinks, the trends suggest a dynamic and evolving landscape with shifting consumer preferences and habits.

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