The Wall Street Journal, which seems to be getting quite the jollies out of viral video these days, has a rather lengthy (free) piece given the subject matter. It’s a story about people who are posting videos online about what happens when you drop Mentos mints into a Diet Coke bottle. Little did AdFreak know that it produces a geyser, which, by some accounts, sends the Diet Coke shooting 100-feet in the air; the duo can be used to form elaborate Bellagio-style geyser displays for those with too much time on their hands, such as the two guys in this video. Mentos, renowned for some of the cheesiest TV commercials known to mankind, tells the WSJ it is thrilled with the free publicity, given its relatively measly $20 million U.S. marketing budget, but Coke, metaphorically speaking, shrugs its shoulders—Coke’s Susan McDermott even argues, the "craziness with Mentos … doesn’t fit with the brand personality" of Diet Coke. Granted, people who buy Diet Coke to conduct experiments probably don’t create much of a market, but the comment stuck us dead in our tracks. With consumer-generated media, and in a larger context, consumer feedback, being all the rage, doesn’t even this quirky subset have some role in shaping the brand? Discuss.
—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor