03-17-2008, 09:08 AM
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Pepsi-Cola North America is launching an original online series in the summer.

The soda giant will serve as its own studio for a serialized action-adventure production from film writer-directors Shawn Papazian and Art Brown ("Rest Stop: Don't Look Back") that will be a branded-entertainment play for soft drink Mountain Dew. The untitled project will bow in June on Web sites still being determined.

But in a twist, viewers will able to alter the story line by selecting from a menu of options after each episode that take the series in different creative directions, akin to the "Choose Your Own Adventure" book franchise.

"Putting this kind of interactivity in the story line allows the consumer to have some engagement with the brand," Pepsi vp marketing Frank Cooper said.

The project will bow in the form of five shortform interlinked episodes, which will be followed up by a batch of more episodes at a date to be determined. Cooper didn't rule out eventually migrating the property to TV or DVD.

"It will start online, but we think that it can evolve into a broader experience that can come offline," he said.

Cooper declined to disclose budget figures but indicated it was far less than the traditional 30-second Pepsi spot.

The Mountain Dew brand is no stranger to unconventional promotions blurring the lines between digital entertainment and marketing. In November, Pepsi launched the casual game "Dewmocracy," which allowed users to create a new flavor of the soft drink. Co-produced by Forest Whitaker, the game drew 600,000 unique visitors who averaged 28 minutes per session on the site.


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