Creative Showcase: Diet Coke & Mentos

Creative Showcase: Diet Coke & Mentos
June 20, 2006
The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments video has taken over the web; see the explosion and learn how marketers are reacting to the buzz.
Creative Notes
Campaign Details

Creative Agency:
Campaign Insight
This video was inspired by a friend of mine who told me about the basic effect. [An example of the basic effect would be when you mix baking soda with vinegar-- the reaction of acid and base causes a mini explosion.] I mulled the idea over as I was driving up to visit a friend. I explained the concept to my friend Fritz Grobe, and we tried it and decided to work on it.

The next morning he showed up with 10 bottles of Diet Coke. We decided to make a fountain and started engineering stuff, drilling holes in the bottle caps. That night there was a show, and we did the explosion at the show-- we did a 10-bottle fountain. It was a success, and we were like, okay, we gotta do this right. So we spent several weeks planning the video.

Fritz has recently talked to Mentos. We did think once we saw the video that we needed to put it online, and we did think it had a viral potential. But we had no idea how huge it would be. Tracking the success of the video, it's only behind the Windows Vista campaign and World Cup marketing. This level of success was no way in our thoughts.  

We did have a sense that this could be used by the brands for marketing. We have tried with other products, and it works. So we'd be open to doing it for other products/brands.

A friend of mine's son comes home every day to watch the video. There are a lot of repeat watches. As far as marketing this, if we were doing it on a table with an apple logo, there would be huge potential for getting the brand in front of audiences. This video has a repeat and captive audience.
-- Stephen Voltz,

Editor's Note
Creative Showcase is meant to be a teaching tool and an inspiration for our readers. We comment only on creative that we really love. Our panelists discuss what makes it great, but if they feel there were missed opportunities that would have made it better, we invite them to mention those. And finally, we seek out a wide range of opinions that reflect the marketplace for the panel, in order to provide constructive, useable feedback for agencies, clients and others involved in these creative pieces.
The Panel
This is a video that's zipping around the internet and secured its creators a spot on NPR's "All Things Considered." In short, two guys, Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe, created an absolutely hilarious homage to the Bellagio fountains using $500 worth of Diet Coke and Mentos (the soda explodes when you drop the mints into it) and choreographed to music by one of their friends.

It took just a couple of days for the video to get Slashdotted. Then a web hosting company offered its spare bandwidth in exchange for the right to tack an ad at the end of the video. Then ATC came calling, and now there are plans for the two creators to appear on TV.

None of this was sponsored by Coke or Perfetti Van Melle USA (makers of Mentos)-- but you can't pay for this kind of publicity: you just have to recognize it, and then leverage it. And it looks like that's what Mentos plans to do; they recently reached out to Voltz.
-- Fawn Fitter, contributor, iMedia

Coke has some websites and programs that encourage/facilitate consumer interaction with the brand. We're looking to do more of it; people have fun when they have some control. As far as things from the grassroots level, where we have no involvement, ... the creativity of folks online never ceases to amaze us. We're aware of this video, we think it's fun, and we have only one suggestion-- drinking Diet Coke is fun.

We think people are enjoying this video because it's underground-- we have no marketing plans for it. We're just sitting and watching it with everyone else.
-- Susan McDermott, director, communications, Coca-Cola North America

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