Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, gamers gotta refuel—and when they do, they often reach for Doritos and Mountain Dew. PepsiCo, the parent company of both brands, capitalized on the overlap between gamers and snack consumers with its Halo 4 Double XP promotion.
Working with The Marketing Arm, PepsiCo struck a partnership with 343 Studios, the developer of the popular Halo gaming franchise, which was relaunching in 2012 after a five-year hiatus. Gamers who bought specially marked bags of Doritos or cans or bottles of Mountain Dew had the chance to accumulate matches during gameplay that would garner them additional, highly sought-after XP, or Experience Points, for use with the new Halo 4.
Because the Doritos/Mountain Dew promotion began in October 2012, several weeks prior to the launch of Halo 4, it created additional demand for the game. It also garnered coverage by gaming media, which was reinforced by signage and promotions at Walmarts nationwide and by a mobile app in partnership with 7-Eleven, where consumers could unlock in-game prizes.
Coming a year after a Doritos/Mountain Dew promotion with another game franchise, Call of Duty, the Halo 4 partnership solidified the brands’ cred among the nation’s 99.3 million gamers and the young male demographic overall. In terms of hard numbers, consumers of Doritos and Mountain Dew redeemed 10 million codes from the specially marked packages. The three-month program generated 650 million impressions through product packaging, 250 million via PR outreach and 300 million through TV and digital media, with 55 million page views of the program’s website and 6.5 million mobile site page views. Clearly all the players were winners of this game.