The Dead will Do the Dew with a product placement partnership between AMC Networks and PepsiCo, starting with a bottle of Mountain Dew in Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. The spinoff, which takes place a decade into the zombie apocalypse, shows Felix (Nico Tortorella) enjoying a ten-year-old bottle of Mountain Dew when Huck (Annet Mahendru) returns from a scavenging trip in episode 107, "Truth or Dare." The episode, which mentions the soda by name, also includes old-school signage advertising classic Mountain Dew as part of a new product placement campaign with advertisers that AMC plans to roll out across the Walking Dead Universe.
"This is definitely something that we love doing and want to do more across this universe," Kim Granito, AMC Networks' senior vice president of integrated marketing, told Variety. Granito added products that appear in any of AMC's three Walking Dead shows "needs to be authentic to that world."
In the scene from "Truth or Dare," above, Felix asks if the bottled soda is legit before telling Huck, "Mountain Dew? I'll never stop missing these. I mean, I used to drink these like water back in the day." Huck discovered the good-as-new bottle hiding behind crates in an old gas station advertising the citrus-flavored soft drink.
The Mountain Dew advertising comes after AMC Networks' Content Room partnered with The Content Collective, a unit of the Omnicom Media Group that facilitates product placement.
Mountain Dew marketing is "centralized around two things, culture and our fans," Nicole Portwood, vice president of marketing for the company's Mountain Dew business, told Variety. "We believe the way the brand is shown in the episode will resonate with fans of the brand as well as the general audience."
AMC and PepsiCo previously set a Mountain Dew partnership ahead of The Walking Dead season 8 in 2017. Under that campaign, the company launched the first-ever Walking Dead Encounter augmented reality app enabling consumers to bring flesh-eating walkers into the real world. Bottles of Walking Dead-branded Mountain Dew featured such characters as Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira's Michonne, and Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon.
According to ad spend tracker Kantar, PepsiCo spent nearly $70 million advertising its products during The Walking Dead and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead in 2019. Variety notes viewers shouldn't expect to see bottles of Mountain Dew used inappropriately, such as washing away blood or as a weapon against walkers — commonly referred to as "empties" on World Beyond.
"We worked with AMC to outline a 'comfort zone' that provided enough creative license for the writers," Portwood said, culminating in the scene of Felix and Huck enjoying a river-chilled bottle of Mountain Dew.0comments
In the real world, PepsiCo brought back seasonal fan-favorite MTN DEW Merry Mash-Up for the 2020 holiday season and launches its limited-edition Big Bold Book of MTN DEW Recipes cookbook on November 16.