Mentos Loves Diet Coke. Coke Could Care Less
While the stunt has been known for some time, many videos of people dropping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke are flooding social networks and one of the marketers is loving the publicity. Commenting on the 800 or so videos online, estimated to be worth $10 million in marketing value, Mentos VP of Marketing Pete Healy said, "We're tickled pink any it." On the other hand, old-fashioned marketer Coca-Cola really doesn't get it. In a statement that sounds like it's out of a 1950's marketing text book, Coke Spokeswoman Susan McDermott said, "It's an entertaining phenomenon. We would hope people want to drink more than try experiments with it." OK, first, who cares if the crap gets consumed. People have to buy the stuff to do this stunt. It's money in the bank for Coke no matter what. Second, there's this thing called free publicity. Maybe Coke hasn't heard of it but many marketers think it's a really good thing when people talk about and use their products a lot.
Hammering home Coke's idiotic mindset, McDermott further confirmed Coke is years behind in understanding anything beyond millions of dollars of television advertising by saying that the "craziness with Mentos doesn't fit with the brand personality" Gee, Susan, perhaps you ought to listen to your customers once in a while. Occasionally they come up with new uses for your products that...OMG...sell more product!! How stupid can a marketer be?
On the other hand, Mentos is being very smart and is in discussions with two guys who have made one of the craziest videos to form a marketing deal. Let's see. Two guys go to the trouble of buying 101 two liter bottles of Diet Coke, 523 Mentos, film the resulting volcanic eruption and upload it for the world to see. Anyone else think that's a decent bit of free marketing? While formalizing these things into official marketing programs often kills the homegrown buzz that started it all, properly handling this sort of thing can extend the publicity even further. Coke doesn't care though. They still have hundreds of millions of dollars to continue funding the sledge hammer that keep hitting us over the head screaming, "Buy our chemically-processed no-nutritional-value, stomach-rotting excuse for an actual beverage."