Mountain Dew’s “Stay Sharp” isn’t Sharp

Mountain Dew’s “Stay Sharp” isn’t Sharp

Have you seen the Mountain Dew “Stay Sharp” ads on TV? A series of quick-changing visuals are shown, and at the end of a spot, you’re asked a question to test how sharp your powers of observation are. For example, “how many pieces of pizza did you see?” To find out if your answer is correct, you have to go online and the ad flashes you a vanity URL.

At first, I thought, here’s an offline drive to online campaign that’s measurable!

Cool! So I went online. I recalled a URL containing StaySharp, but didn’t remember exactly what it was. Here’s where the fun starts.

I go to Wrong site! This site is about diamond tools for cutting rock!

Next stop, Google.
I searched on staysharp.
Nothing appears that looks like Mountain Dew on the organic side of the results page.
And not a single PPC ad.

OK, how about staysharp mountain dew?
No PPC ads.
No title with “Stay Sharp” shown above the fold.
And then I see with staysharp in the description. I click and I don’t see the words StaySharp. Browser back to Google.
Then, I see in the 2-line description that the URL is
I don’t recall seeing the .tv extension on TV.

Given my experience, activity from direct access to may be much lower than Marketing expected.

If this ad was audience-tested, they probably didn’t do a broad enough audience-experience/usability test. When a URL without .com is used and you expect people to remember a URL, it’s always a good idea to place some PPC ads to trap spelling mistakes and compensate for distracted, faulty memories like mine. Else great creative could be wasted.

I went back to the home page for, and I did finally find the link to It’s the 7th and last in the list of Brands. The print is tiny. I didn’t recall that the Mountain Dew brand was MDX, so the graphic was meaningless to me.

Perhaps not being sharp, I wasn’t their target audience, but then isn’t that the point of Mountain Dew MDX? You need MDX to stay sharp.

June Li

P.S. And I’ll bet that traffic to Stay Sharp Diamond Tools is inexplicably higher than normal, albeit with a high entry bounce rate.


By |2018-07-25T12:30:02-04:00December 15th, 2006|0 Comments