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By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

June 22, 2017 | 4 min read

Whether you liked it or thought it was a weird beer alternative, there’s no doubt that Zima had an impact on the drinking public in the 90s. Now, the drink is back, led by a totally retro ‘Back Not Back’ campaign from Mekanism and PR agency Olson.

With a 90s revival firmly in place – hello Backstreet Boys and NKOTB tours, plus Roseanne and Twin Peaks revivals – the timing seems right to bring back a slightly citrusy “malternative” beverage that went down easy.

The integrated campaign includes a new 8-bit brand website complete with neon wingding arrows, forced background audio bling, flying Zima bottles and lots of Comic Sans – all the things that made the early internet ‘da bomb.' You can research the joys of Zima on there, find where to buy the beverage and even download mobile Zima wallpaper for your mobile.


The campaign also features a chatbot via Zima's Facebook Messenger, which has a wealth of Zima and ‘90s pop culture entertainment at the ready created in partnership with the IPG Media Lab. Also, a social video is featured on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, created by Mekanism and its social agency Epic Signal.

The video shows things that are back or not back from over two decades ago, like dancing babies, beepers and brick phones (not back), or color-shifting shirts and vacuum-based haircutting systems (back). It’s all done with a big nod to the 90s, including teal and bright pastel tones and digital dance music.

Complementing the creative is the Olson team’s activations featuring a partnership with mega social media influencer Fuck Jerry, a seeding campaign to classic 90s faces including Jennie Garth, Mario Lopez and Third Eye Blind, and Zima sticker books.

The Zima comeback is said to be for a limited time – even though the beverage has remained available in Asia – so now’s the time to relive your Carlton dance and Rachael ‘do.


Lead Creative Agency: Mekanism

President/CEO: Jason Harris

Founder/Executive Creative Director: Tommy Means

Creative Director: Matt Stafford, Megan Farquhar

Copywriter: Dom Haury

Jr. Copywriter: Cory McCollum

Senior Art Director: Jamie Stark

Director of Brand Management: Rick Thornhill

Sr. Brand Manager: Amy Henning

Brand Manager: Kyle Goethals

Planning Director: AJ Livsey

Head of Production: Kati Haberstock

Sr Integrated Producer: Jessica Murray, Jackie Backer

Social Media Agency: Epic Signal

Director of Social Strategy: Josh Druding

Social Strategist: Charles Weichselbaum

Art Director: Andreas Aristides

Social Innovation Lead: Jeff MacDonald

Production Company: Sister Studios

Director: Adam Avilla

DP: Josh Blackman

EP: Lee Scharfstein

Line Producer: Greg Speck

Editorial: Sister

Editor: Adam Avilla

Public Relations Agency: Olson Engage

Account Director: Giovanna Colson-Basurto

Senior Account Executive: Kylie Burness

Account Executive: Samantha Miller

Assistant Account Executive: Samantha Mayhew

Chat Bot Creative Development Agency: IPG Media Lab

Director of Creative Technology: Eric Stockmeyer

Conversational UI Software Engineer: Ryan Hinchey

Developers: Rohan Doshi, Bernadette Masciocchi

Creative Director/Copywriter: Jonathan Bellinger

Copywriter: Adam Goldman

Executive Producer: Margaux Ravis

Lead Interaction Designer: Xuedi Chen

Director of Client Services: Samantha Barrett

Client Services Manager: Emily Cleary

Director pf Strategy: Adam Simon

Mekanism Marketing

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