March 9, 2009

Buy a Mtn Dew, get a free Vault

U.S. beverage giant Coca-Cola said it will try an unusual promotions ploy for its Vault soda, offering a free sample to customers who buy a rival brand.

For customers who purchase a 20-ounce Mtn Dew, made by rival PepsiCo, Coca-Cola said it would give away a free 16-ounce, 20-ounce or 24-ounce Vault, which it bills as with 30 percent more kick than Dew and a bold citrus taste.

Simply put, it's designed to drive Vault consideration and recruitment among Dew drinkers, said Scott Williamson, a Coca-Cola spokesman, reported Monday.

Advertising experts called the promotion unique, and, as David Diamond, a marketing consultant put it, mighty expensive.

But as a way to leverage for increased distribution of Vault, it strikes me as very, very smart, he said.

PepsiCo.'s vice president in charge of portfolio brands called the promotion a last-ditch effort to propel Vault forward in the face of Mtn Dew growth.

After three years on the market, Vault is hanging in there with 4 percent of the citrus segment in the ongoing beverage wars. But it hasn't much threatened Mtn Dew, which commands 80 percent of the citrus segment, reported.