The site's distinct retro-gamer style is echoed in online ads.
Tribal DDB Dallas is expected Tuesday to launch an updated Web site and ad campaign for PepsiCo's Mountain Dew that debuts a sharper-edged logo for the hot youth brand.
The new logo, displayed throughout the site, features lettering with sharper points and appears to be in motion, while retaining the trademark green, red, and white coloring.
Designed to appeal to young men, the Web site features a front-page skateboarding game set in a detailed cityscape drawn in the pixilated style of old-time video games. Users can navigate a skateboarder character through the scene and unlock bonus download features by performing tricks. The cityscape also contains offbeat treasures, such as a giant penguin, and references to a classic Dew commercial in which a man squares off with a big horned sheep.
"A lot of people really aren't going to notice it, but we really like to develop sites that are built for exploration," said Scott Johnson, executive creative director of Tribal. "Guys can find things that no one really knows are there. With this target audience, they like to look around and discover things."
The overall site has sections dedicated to several distinct audiences -- fans of action sports, music aficionados, and racing enthusiasts. The site has its own music player, along with pages that leverage Mountain Dew's sponsorships of extreme athletes and racing drivers.
"All of these people, they kind of share a basic thing deep inside them that connects them with Dew and the spirit of Dew," said Johnson. "While maintaining the spirit of Dew, we wanted to talk with them based upon their identities and the things they're looking for."
Tribal has created accompanying online ads in various formats that use the same visual style as the home page. One creative shows a skateboarder flying off his board to grab onto the old Dew label. The label peels off, revealing the new logo.
"It's a really engaging thing," said Johnson. "Everybody who sees it winds up with a big stupid grin on their face."
Tribal's media team wasn't available to provide details of the media plan by press time.
Johnson and his team, which includes associate creative directors Dave Gibson and Michael Carpenter, developed the site in about 12 weeks. The previous site had been up for more than a year.
"With this young audience, you need to keep things fresh," explained Johnson.
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Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
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