submit to reddit

By B.L. Ochman

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal had an article about the $10 million dollars worth of publicity Mentos mints received as a result of an amateur video of an oddball experiment: people dropping Mentos candies into bottles of Diet Coke.

The video, which was viewed nearly a million times in one week, was made by two guys from Maine who spent their own money to buy 100 liters of Diet Coke and dozens of packs of Mentos. They made a Fantasia-esque musical fountain with cascading streams of beautiful goop.

Coke’s dark-ages marketing people who just don’t get it, basically said “we want people to drink our soda, not play with it.” Mentos marketing folks, noting that they’re annual ad budget is way under $10 million, are not only delighted, they want to feature the video in advertising and hire its creators to tour on Mentos’ behalf.

We’re still mighty, cried the dinosaurs
There have been more than 800 other videos made and posted online showing Coke/Mentos geysers. They’ve all been posted on free video sites like You Tube and Google Videos. No harm done, just good sticky fun.

But what if there had been 800 negative videos? Would most companies even have a clue of where to look for them? How many companies know how to monitor MySpace and other social media communities? It’s a brand new world, and this story ought to be a heads up to every CMO who’s still saying “this social media stuff isn’t important to us.”