Two Tin Cans, One Marketing Stunt

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Two Tin Cans, One Marketing Stunt

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When presented with two unmarked cans of World of Warcraft-flavored soda, there's really only one thing to do: SCIENCE!

Sadly, once the drinks had winged their way to my house and into my gullet, that glee eroded almost as quickly as the enamel coating my incisors.

We'll get to that in a second though. First, a bit of history.

In August of 2007 Mountain Dew (excuse me, I mean "Mtn Dew") launched its attempt at using videogames as hyper-targeted marketing devices with a limited edition cherry flavored drink dubbed "Mountain Dew Game Fuel." It was released to coincide with the launch of Halo 3, and each bottle featured a picture of the game's heavily armed protagonist. Though that promotion has since been discontinued, the stunt proved so lucrative that the firm has re-released the drink to capitalize on the popularity of World of Warcraft. Now dubbed "Mountain Dew Game Fuel Horde Red" after one of the game's factions, it is joined by a new flavor, "Mountain Dew Game Fuel Alliance Blue."

Seeing as both flavors are tangentially related to gaming and I cover games for a living, Mtn Dew reached out to me recently to gauge my interest in reviewing the beverages. Being a sucker for all things World of Warcraft -- don't get me started on the number of rare in-game pets I own -- I eagerly signed on, forgetting momentarily that I gave up caffeinated drinks of the day-glo variety years ago.

Moments ago I finished drinking a can of each flavor and while I'd like to offer a solid argument for why I gave up soft drinks all those years ago, I'm gripped by a sudden urge to clean all the bathrooms in my house. Afterward, you'll get a review of each. Thank god I took notes before my hands started shaking.

Remembering high school biology, I attempted to apply as much of the scientific method as possible to what would otherwise be a simple taste test. Before actually drinking the two beverages I designed what I thought would be a simple yet effective comparison test. After pouring a cup of each beverage into equally anachronistic jars, I also set up a palate cleanser in the form of a bottle of Aquafina water. In between each drink I'd pause for fifteen minutes, drink roughly half a bottle of the Aquafina to cleanse my palate, then ingest the other. The idea was that the plain water would clear away any lingering taste from the first beverage, thus offering the second beverage a clear set of taste buds on which to wreak its sugary havoc.

Going by least appalling color, I first attempted to drink the red option, or as Mtn Dew calls it, Mountain Dew Game Fuel Horde Red. Attempting to closely mimic a pretentious wine snob I first sniffed the drink, making sure to keep my pinky raised daintily while lifting the wholly lowbrow jar I'd lifted from my roommates stash of makeshift shotglasses. The juxtaposition of pretentious pinky action with both the caffeinated drink and the stupid jar was enough to make me almost giggle before I actually caught a whiff of the drink's ... what's the word? Bouquet? Yes. The drink's bouquet.

Mountain Dew Game Fuel Horde Red does not smell like a drink. It does not even smell like a fluid. If I had to draw a comparison familiar to those with the caffeine monkey on their backs I'd say it's a combination of Sweetarts candy, pine needles, and Pixie Stix. The scent is almost a warning to your sinuses that what you are about to put into your body intends to scorch your insides like William Tecumseh Sherman on a sightseeing tour of Turner Field.

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At this point I nearly set the jar down and walked away, but since my roommate and his girlfriend were staring at me intently -- no doubt wondering exactly how I scored a job that entailed drinking the liquid embodiment of combustive neon -- I gave into peer pressure. I took a drink.

Remember when my nose warned me of impending burning? Turns out that my nose doesn't lie. Not only does the Horde Red Game Fuel contain the same burning sensation present in all carbonated beverages, it also proudly bears the tart burning sensation present in sour candy. Thankfully that passed after a few seconds, after which I finally tasted the actual drink.

As if to taunt my senses Horde Red Game Fuel tastes nothing like its color would suggest. When you look at it you imagine an orange flavor or perhaps a cherry flavor if you squint and turn your head sideways. What you actually get though is a combination my notes describe as "SUGARRRRR!!!!!" followed by a simple equation of "80% lemon + 15% cherry + 5% pine needles = The antithesis of anything natural."

Despite my notes' seeming confusion and rage over the experience I wasn't entirely put off by the drink, and could definitely see caffeine fans enjoying the stuff while slogging through the wilds of Azeroth.

That was before the aftertaste.

It's one thing to have a drink so proud of its flavor that it seeks to remind you that you drank it for moments after you've actually swallowed the fluid, and it's something else entirely for a beverage to cling to every organic surface in your mouth like an unfit mother terrified that you're here to snatch her babies from her. 15 minutes and a half bottle of water later I finally got the taste out of my mouth, but I remain wary that at any moment I might burp and resurrect the angry ghost of a thousand fluorescent red orcs.

Somewhat cautiously I peered down at my second drink, the Mountain Dew Game Fuel Alliance Blue. Remembering my fondness for all things sugary and azure, I said a short prayer to St. Joe of Bazooka (the patron saint of flavors) and lifted the second jar to my nose.

"Hm," I said to absolutely no one, "this almost smells like ... like ... blue? Yes! This smells like blue!" Realizing I should probably offer a better comparison for those non-synaesthestetics in the audience, I quickly jotted down that the smell reminded me of all those blue candies and frozen treats I loved as a kid. Blue Otter Pops, blue Blow Pops, blue popsicles -- anything blue and sugary has a distinct smell and flavor that our American diet of junk food has ingrained in anyone whose parents weren't of the patchouli and granola set. Hoping this scent might bode well for the drink's flavor, I cautiously drained the jar into my mouth.

Though Alliance Blue shares the sharp initial bite of Horde Red, it fades much more quickly than the latter into something akin to slightly tart blue Kool-Aid. You can definitely taste the Mtn Dew influence in Alliance Blue much more distinctly than in Horde Red and in a surprising twist the former has much less of an aftertaste than its ruby counterpart. Despite my aversion to caffeinated novelty drinks I actually slightly enjoyed this version of the Game Fuel and would recommend it to anyone with a compulsion toward these sorts of marketing gimmicks.

Realistically, if you're the sort of person who drinks Mtn Dew on a regular basis, these beverages are going to appeal to you, if only to try something new and different. Though I was off put by the almost aggressively sugary drinks, regular caffeine junkies will have no problem enjoying the two Game Fuel flavors and those hardcore World of Warcraft fiends have already shelled out cash for much less practical, much more expensive promotional tie-ins -- again, I've got way too many baby polar bears and baby Murlocs clogging my WoW account.

Given how terribly wrong some soft drink experiments have gone in the past -- Crystal Pepsi, I'm looking at you -- Mountain Dew Game Fuel is, at best, an enjoyable diversion, and at worst, isn't entirely offensive.

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Interesting. Shame we never get stuff like this here. Also, this would be the weirdest review I read today, if I hadn't already read a review of a brick.

Big question, though, is will it be released outside the USA? I tried Mountain Dew in the USA last year and I hate that it isn't available here in the UK, so we Brits lose out if we aren't prepared to ship the drink in just for the novelty of the drink. :(

LOL Nice usage of huge ass words, even I didn't know a few of them (unless you totally made them up). I had a feeling they would be garbage I never liked any of the "Flavored" Mountain Dew drinks, I hardly even like Mountain Dew... Well I hate pop in General

You know, from the sound of things, you don't know what this stuff is made of... it's the caffeinated blood of gamers that died after not sleeping for a week. Obviously, with some mild flavor additions, but you get my point.

Aaaanyways, that article was hilarious! Seemed like something akin to what you'd find on Cracked! Excellent work, and... well... I'm never trying those things.

I prefer mellow yellow

Great article, makes me glad we don't have Mountain Dew over here in the UK.

Great read.

but

I'm sick of Mountain Dew. It give gamers the wrong immage

I'm pretty sure those are mason jars not shot glasses. Atleast the ones you have pictured are.
And my little brother is pretty addicted to these drinks and he doesn't even play WoW.

Alliance wins! Take that, Horde!

I want to try this so badly. Its not fair its stuck in the US. I want it in the UK. Of course i dobt that will ever happen so i just hope this still exists when i go to america next year. I'm particularly looking forward to trying Horde Red flavour
You get paid to do this? That is so unfair

I've tried some flavor of Mountain Mtn Dew that was dark blue (I think it had a Night Elf on it), and labeled "Gamer Fuel." It was horrific, I recommend steering clear of it. Okay, I hate the weird flavored versions of Mountain Mtn Dew with a passion. Except Code Red, which I never seem to see in anymore. Anyway, good article.

Why is the blue one always the least offensive? Be it game or life, the blue potion is always the really friendly looking one.

Soft Drink Science! Reminds me of Mythbusters....

I liked the Mountain Dew commercial.

The one with the two hot chicks in the supermarket....

Got to love America.

But hey, at least they weren't as bad as those Korean Commercials awhile back.

What happens if you mix the two drinks together?

Logic dictates that it should turn purple, but I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't happen at all... it would probably turn a greenish brown colour then climb out of the glass and start evolving.

I can't be the only one who laughed at the "scorch your insides like William Tecumseh Sherman on a sightseeing tour of Turner Field" quip.

CantFaketheFunk:
Alliance wins! Take that, Horde!

FOR THE HORDE! *ganks Funk*

CantFaketheFunk:
Alliance wins! Take that, Horde!

For the....Alliance. Damn you Horde! Getting all the good battle cries first.

/Heal funk
/Bear Form
/Mangle Wolf!
/Dance

Blizzard should get some brewery to make some dwarven ale or something of that nature. THAT would be a game drink.

Booze Zombie:
Why is the blue one always the least offensive? Be it game or life, the blue potion is always the really friendly looking one.

Cause Blue has a calming affect on people. Well light blue to be specific, but blue all the same. And red has a more aggressive affect

Jamash:
What happens if you mix the two drinks together?

Logic dictates that it should turn purple, but I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't happen at all... it would probably turn a greenish brown colour then climb out of the glass and start evolving.

Actually it's kind of a gross grey. I gave the two extra cans to my roomies and when they'd decided they'd had enough, both cans went into the sink at the same time, mixing hues to form a color I can only describe as "liquid malaise."

EMFCRACKSHOT:
You get paid to do this? That is so unfair

What? Did you think I actually do this shit for free? Man, I don't even take a piss for free. Every time I "turn the hoses on the protesters" I earn $20, with an extra 3% for any and all syndication rights in perpetuity.

It's always good to see that shameless marketing ploys such as Red Horde & Blue Alliance "flavoured" drinks are ever present. I loved the review, it really made me laugh - never a bad thing at 1:30am.

Thinking about it, the idea of selling a good ol' fashioned can of sugar to a WoW fan isn't a bad idea as far as Blizzard is concerned. As I understand it most Warcraft players spend most of the day playing and the rest of the time is wasted sleeping; well now they don't have to sleep as much - or even at all! - so they can spend even more time on World of Warcraft. Quite simply Blizzard are genius'.

Yes I know I'm pigeonholing WoW players but hey, it's not like I'm 100% wrong - and don't try to deny it.

P.s. I hate this fecking U.S. spell checker. 'Flavoured' is a word; it's you, not me that's spelling it wrong!

Hahaha, loved the article.

Although, I'm not sure "Mountain Dew Game Fuel... isn't entirely offensive," is the beaming recommendation they'll put on future bottles.

Hm. I liked the Halo 3 Game Fuel.

I still have the cans and bottles here somewhere...

Me and my father seem to be the only ones in my family who like Mtn Dew.

When he was young my father claimed that his friends would try and get him off the drink. They even told him that the secret ingrident in it was goat piss. Clearly he didn't care and the only thing he regrets is the cavites.

OT. I have to try the Blue one before I can decide witch one is best. Although I do enjoy drining the Horde one.

"Mtn" Dew?

I just had both of these for the first time today. They weren't really that special... until I mixed them both together and it tasted some akin to liquid sex.

My brother then asked me "You combined Alliance and Horde? What do you call that?"
My reply? "Umm... The Knights of the Ebon Blade?"

At this point I nearly set the jar down and walked away, but since my roommate and his girlfriend were staring at me intently -- no doubt wondering exactly how I scored a job that entailed drinking the liquid embodiment of combustive neon -- I gave into peer pressure. I took a drink.

I feel pleased to inform you that I fell off my chair in a fit of laughter.

CantFaketheFunk:
Alliance wins! Take that, Horde!

/cast Blood Tap
/cast Plague Strike
/cast Icy Touch
/cast Blood Strike
/cast Blood Strike
/cast Deathchill
/cast Obliterate
/cast FROST STRIKE!!!
/cast FROST STRIKE!!!
/cast FROST STRIKE!!!
/cast FROST STRIKE!!!

DIIIIIIIE!!!

My friend is addicted to Mtn Dew, he drinks it day in and day out, he has a literal sea of half full Mtn Dew bottles in his room. He unequivically loves this stuff, last time I was at his house he had what seemed to be 48 total cans of Horde and Alliance drink. Now here is where it gets interesting, he made a game out of the cans.

There are three types of cans, Sword, Shield, and Bow.

Sword cans allowed you to kick the can, and hit another can the flying projectile.

Shield cans were weighted down with pea gravel, roughly half filled.

And the bow allowed you to take his slingshot and aim at another can.

It was scary and fun at the same time, you just had to push out the fact that your friend spent 12 hours coming up with a game that centers around a soft drink.

-This-is-Hip-Hop

The Rogue Wolf:
I can't be the only one who laughed at the "scorch your insides like William Tecumseh Sherman on a sightseeing tour of Turner Field" quip.

CantFaketheFunk:
Alliance wins! Take that, Horde!

FOR THE HORDE! *ganks Funk*

Altorin:

CantFaketheFunk:
Alliance wins! Take that, Horde!

/cast Blood Tap
/cast Plague Strike
/cast Icy Touch
/cast Blood Strike
/cast Blood Strike
/cast Deathchill
/cast Obliterate
/cast FROST STRIKE!!!
/cast FROST STRIKE!!!
/cast FROST STRIKE!!!
/cast FROST STRIKE!!!

DIIIIIIIE!!!

/cast Shadowmeld
/cast Swift Flight Form
/Ungankable Druid, away~

CantFaketheFunk:
Alliance wins! Take that, Horde!

*stunlocks*

*is Immune to Fear*

/me kills

The Rogue Wolf:
I can't be the only one who laughed at the "scorch your insides like William Tecumseh Sherman on a sightseeing tour of Turner Field" quip.

In fact, I laughed out loud so much that I was forced to read that out loud to my coworkers so they knew what all the fuss was about.

On the basis of this review, I went to the store to try to find and mock cans of WoW soda.

I could not find any.

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