But there's a catch, and it's a biggie: While they don't approve of you playing with Mentos and Coke and posting videos on YouTube or pics on Flickr, they DO approve of you doing this on their NEW WEBSITE to hype 'The Coke Show'.
Thaaaaaaat's right! Seems that Coke loves the buzz from the Mentos-Coke deal after all, as long as they are CONTROLING how it occurs!
From Adweek(via Logic + Emotion):
“as of this week, visitors to Coke.com can take part in "The Coke Show," monthly "challenges" testing their creativity.
In the first challenge, set to run through August, users are invited to submit short videos, but they're not limited to creating ads or odes to the brand. Instead, Coke is asking for 45-second video expressions of "the essence of you." Visitors will rate submissions, culling them down to 10, which will be judged by a group of professional filmmakers.
Of course, this 'The Coke Show' debuts just as Mentos is about to start their Mentos Geyser Video Contest. So look at how Mentos and Coke responded to this episode:
Mentos: Hey we LOVE this! You guys are giving us a TON of free publicity! Please keep it up! In fact, we are going to create a contest that will reward you with prizes for doing what you are doing anyway! Rock on!
Coke: Well honestly, we'd rather you DRINK our product, and stop playing with it, this IS after all a LIQUID, not a toy! But....if you must play with it, we'd rather you do it in a manner and form that we have some say over, so please confine your enjoyment of our product to our officially-endorsed website for 'The Coke Show'. There you will be able to play with your Coke as much as you like. But please.....don't try this at home.
That update for you sports fans is Mentos - 2, Coke - 0.
This is yet another instance of a big company that's scared to death of letting their customers run with their product in a manner which they didn't intend. Remember when NBC did the same thing with the SNL clip of Lazy Sunday that popped up on YouTube? The video was wildly popular, yet NBC ordered YouTube to pull it, saying they didn't want the video available as a download. Then what did they turn around and do? Stick it on THEIR website for download.
Wanna bet it's only a matter of time before Coke comes out with a competing product to Mentos? Wanna bet that they'd have no problem with you shooting THEIR product out of your nose, as long as the dollars went in their back pockets?
Again guys, when you have your communitiy actually excited about your product, you find ways to make it EASIER to spread their excitement, you don't try to re-route or control that buzz, because that's the quickest way to stop it dead. A big reason why buzz and excitement like this is created and grows, is because the company behind the products have NOTHING to do with it. Customers relish the lack of control that Mentos and Coke had over their actions, which is the main reason why this phenomenon occurred, because customers were using the products the way THEY wanted to, and NOT the way that Mentos and Coke wanted them to.
Mentos embraced the buzz, Coke at first tried to discourage it, and now is saying that they don't mind it, as long as they have some control over it.
Ain't the way this game is played folks. Someone needs to send a wake-up call to Atlanta.
Pic via Flickr user Undrin