Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Coke decides they are ready to join the Mentos geyser party

Well it seems that Coke finally likes the Mentos-Diet Coke geyser videos, now that they've developed a model to make money off them.

After first saying that they didn't approve of their customers enjoying their product, Coke has now switched gears and is embracing the geyser video movement. Of course by now no one gives a damned about the videos anymore, but that's beside the point.

The point is WHY does Coke suddenly now like the idea? Because they have found a way to monetize the videos, of course! Coke has created a new 'Poetry in Motion' contest and website which will let users upload crazy videos of them doing crazy things with all sorts of items.

Crazy man!

Kevin Nalty says kudos "to Coke for demonstrating adaptive marketing. The best kind."

I say the BEST kind of adaptive marketing that Coke could engage in, is letting their customers take control of their brand, instead of trying to stop them until they can find a way to make money off them. As Virginia says "Is someone trying to hijack your marketing? Are you fighting back or sending them a thank you note?"


Chris Houchens said...

mack...one word in your post struck me....
I'd like to have a nickel for everytime that the word "monetize" was used in the Coke Boardroom after the geysers started going off.

Mack Collier said...

Bingo Chris, you just cracked the code.

Coke saw what was happening with the geyser videos, they saw that the internet was going ga-ga over them, and that people were buying Coke and involving them in the creation of these videos.

They had 2 ways of looking at this:

1 - Notice how popular these videos are, and find a way to encourage the enjoyment their community was receiving from interacting with their product.

2 - Notice how popular these videos were, and find a way to make money off them.

Adhering to the typical mentality of your 'big-brand miles from the community' company that Coke is, they looked for ways to monetize their community's actions, instead of encouraging them to continue enjoying their product.

Typical big, out-of-touch brand mentality. 'Hey our customers are enjoying themselves, let's monetize that!'

Anonymous said...

Coke can be accused of lousy public relations for the early arrogant quotes- I had the same reaction as you. Coke wiped out a lot of branding efforts by positioning itself temporarily as "above" the Gesyer fad. They also can be excused of being slow to the "new media" game. My guess it's a dysfunction between PR and marketing. That said, better late then never.

Mack Collier said...

Nalts, I can buy 'better late than never' up to a point.

While it IS better late than never, we have to remember that Mentos jumped all over this. While Coke said they wanted their community to 'stop playing with our product', Mentos jumped all over it, and quickly started a contest for the best video, and did it on YouTube. IOW, they embraced their community, and did it in THEIR space.

Coke countered by first slapping their community on the wrist and telling them to grow up, then when they saw how people were reacting positively to what Mentos was doing, they first started The Coke Show, and now this 'Poetry in Motion' crap. IOW, now that they think there's money to be made off their community, they like the idea, but ONLY if it's done in THEIR space so they can monetize all that wonderful traffic.

The bottom line is that the main reason why Coke is getting so beat-up over this is because of how they handled the situation, as opposed to Mentos. Mentos quickly embraced the activites of their community, and encouraged them in THEIR space. Coke said stop it, then said ok fine do it, but do it on OUR site so we can make money off you.

Whatever. Just another huge out-of-touch-with-their-community brand.

Anonymous said...

I think there is another point of view from "Is someone trying to hijack your marketing? Are you fighting back or sending them a thank you note?"

Good marketing has and will continue to take advantage of word of mouth. We do so not by letting "someone hijact their [our] marketing", but by helping them to become brand and marketing evangelists.

We do this by communicating with them often and by learning what their wants, needs and desires are, and then meeting them.

By the way, Coke is not an example of a company that is quick on its feet. Their operations manuals, for example, are beaureacratic nightmares. No one seems able to make a decision without first consulting many others. It is neither surprising how they first reacted nor that they changed their modus operandi.