Mountain Dew Twitter Presence

They’re known for their creative, funny, and often over the top commercials that tend to feature well-known celebrities pitching their product. The company I chose to look at is the soda company, Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew not only holds a strong advertising presence in television commercials, they also hold a social media presence on Twitter.

They’re strongest social media presence is probably on Twitter, with over 577K followers and their logo featured prominently as their profile picture and cover photo and their pinned tweet being their most recent Super Bowl commercials featuring Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman (which is also posted on their Instagram page) Using well-known celebrities in their commercials not only grabs consumers attention right away, posting the commercials on their social media for people to retweet or easily pull up to watch again whenever they want to seems to be a big marketing strategy for them. This leads me to believe that their target audience is probably younger people, since they’re probably the demographic that most use social media and that will most likely know who their celebrity endorsers are.

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Their Twitter is also full of sassy tweets and hashtags directed at Doritos (their competition in their most recent ad campaign) saying things like “What’s that? We can’t hear you over all that hot air. #Bye #ICECOLD”. These kinds of sassy, funny tweets are a big trend for companies right now, presumably in order to also relate to young demographics.

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Mountain Dew also often responds to famous people’s tweets about their company, usually in that same sassy tone. I included a screenshot where a famous basketball player tweeted about how the Doritos/Mountain Dew commercial was the “hardest” thing he’s ever seen, in which Mountain Dew responded saying they were always looking for a “new challenger.” This comedic back-and-forth has become a staple for product companies like Mountain Dew in order to seem more relatable to consumers.

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They also work on their relatability by sometimes publicly responding to consumers who tweet at them. This use of social media bridges the previous gap that corporations and their consumers had on a communication level. Previously, people usually had to call some hotline in order to discuss a product with someone involved with the company, and it usually was only about official comments or complaints. Now, consumers can interact with companies on a seemingly more horizontal level, almost like peers.

While Mountain Dew has very strong branding abilities with their constant use of relevant hashtags, public interaction, celebrity endorsement, and following social media trends, I do find their social media marketing strategies to be pretty one-dimensional. Maybe that’s all they really need to appeal to their main consumer demographic, but since Mountain Dew is such a huge, well-known company, I think they could also use their social media in a way to both promote their products and contribute to some greater good. They don’t really seem to contribute much to any social, political, climate, etc. kind of issues (at least that is prominently displayed on their social media pages). That kind of more serious advertising, along with their quirky style, could make them for a more well-rounded company that more people feel good about supporting because they are using their influence to push awareness of a certain issue, similarly to how companies like Coke do with issues like climate change. That would be my biggest suggestion to add to their social media presence.

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Event: Mandated Reporter training

The organizational event I went to this quarter was a Mandated Reporter training provided through the City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department. I’ve been working for Parks and Recreation for three years now, and the Mandated Reporter training is required upon hire with a yearly optional refresher training that employees are strongly encouraged to attend. It’s an hour-long training specifically for Youth Services employees on what kind of things are mandatory to report to Child Protective Services, how to file a report, and what happens when we file a report. This is a highly important training because it affects the safety and well-being of the children in our community that we work with on a daily basis. Also, as child care workers, we are required by law to report any suspected abuse or neglect to CPS or we could face criminal charges, so it’s important that we have a solid understanding of what is expected of us both by our employers and by the law.

This training was conducted by our boss, the head of the Youth Services department. She gave us each a handout with her PowerPoint slides on them and used those visuals to support her explanations and examples. She explained to us that in our organization, if we ever have to report suspected child abuse, we go to our office and make the CPS call with one of our bosses. She reinforced that we are not alone in this procedure, which can be pretty upsetting for a lot of people, and that they were there to help us through the legal procedure and with the emotional aftermath. In this aspect, our organization relates to the family metaphor because our bosses help us work through and take care of the difficult things we have to do, and are also there for us if it feels overwhelming or upsetting, similar to how parents are with their children.

Safety is also the biggest concern addressed in these trainings, both for the children we serve and for the employees. Our boss was sure to address concerns about possible retaliation from parents we filed CPS reports against, letting us know that reports are anonymous in order to protect us and not make us feel afraid to make a report. This was an example of our boss addressing our safety needs in our job in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. With her assurance that no harm can come to us for making a report due to its anonymity, we are much more likely and able to perform this necessary function of our roles.

Standardization was also a key component she discussed in our training; the purpose of the training wasn’t just so we would know what to do in any cases of suspected abuse, but also so we all will respond in the same way; consistency is really important for our organization. The process was presented in a clear, step by step demonstration that left little room for variation in how we make CPS reports. We also have a form we must fill out every time we make a report that answers the same questions, not matter the case that we’re reporting, in order for both us and CPS to be consistent and organized in each report.

This training also related to Taylor’s Theory of Scientific Management because the whole reason for the formation of this training was to provide us with effective training on how to do one extremely important (and legally mandatory) aspect of our job and what our specific role is as employees of Parks and Recreation. This definitely makes us more fit to perform our jobs, and more confident in our abilities to fulfill this duty if it ever arises.

Overall, this training is effective and important for us who work in Youth Services and are mandated reporters. Even though the training is only required once, most of us find it useful to take it again every year as a refresher because it makes it feel more confident and sure of ourselves if a difficult situation regarding making a CPS report were to ever arise for us.