Beverage brand Mountain Dew has launched what it’s calling the first-ever brand-owned multi-channel network, Green Label, in a bid to build direct and long-term relationships with digital creators. “Creators also benefit from a larger ad revenue split when going directly through Dew,” the company said in a press release.
Green Label will feature a streamlined roster of creators in the action sports, music, and male lifestyle categories, and Mountain Dew says its influencers — which thus far include dancer D-Trix and skateboarders Josh Katz and Nigel Alexander — reach 9.6 million fans and have amassed a total of 650 million YouTube views.
“Often, the ideas content creators come up with cannot be executed because of lack of budget or brands that do not appreciate the creative concept,” D-Trix, whose real name is Dominic Sandoval, told Fast Company of the venture. “But with the opportunities that Dew has offered, I truly believe they are giving me a chance to take my channel to the next level.” (Sandoval, who helms one of YouTube’s most popular dance channels, has had a longstanding relationship with Mountain Dew, and last year helped the soda company promote its new line of Kickstart beverages.)
Mountain Dew’s digital marketing manager, Stinson Parks, noted that Green Label creators will develop content that integrates the brand’s messaging “all year long.” In turn, the boutique MCN, which will be home to both established and emerging YouTubers, will hand out more than just “monetary fees” — which is typically how one-off brand deals work at other MCNs, Parks notes. Instead, Green Label will forge a “symbiotic relationship…that will help redefine brand equity.”
Sadira Furlow, a senior director of brand marketing at PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, added that Green Label is seeking a collaborative approach when it comes to branded content. “We talk about what we’re trying to accomplish across our portfolio, our brand, the people we’re looking to connect with, the activations we have planned, and really bringing them into our planning process and giving them time to do what they do best, which is create and think,” she told Fast Company. “We’re treating them almost the same way we do our agencies, in briefing them and then co-creating content together.”
“For the brand, they receive cost efficiency in signing an influencer to multi-year contracts, much like an endorsement deal,” added Hallie Harris, managing director of Mountain Dew’s digital ad agency Epic Signal. “For the influencer, they can more easily manage their own brand dilution by committing to one brand in one category, thus developing a more meaningful and impactful relationship. Everybody wins.”