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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Trend: User-Created: Mentos Geysers

Mentos maker Perfetti Van Melle USA this week launched a contest that capitalizes on a pop-culture fad that could shoot brand awareness sky-high.

Mentos is riding the wave of geyser hijinks
Someone, somewhere figured out that dropping a Mentos mint into a 2-liter bottle of pop makes the beverage bubble furiously and shoot out of the bottle. The phenomenon, dubbed a "Mentos geyser," has prompted thousands of people to post short films of their own geyser experiments on sites like YouTube, Yahoo video and

Mentos harnesses the momentum with its own Mentos Geyser Video Contest. Consumers submit a video of their own geyser to vie for a grand-prize package of 1,000 iTunes downloads and a year's supply of Mentos. One first-prize winner gets 500 iTunes downloads; the second-prize winner gets 250 downloads. All qualified entrants get a Mentos-branded hat, T-shirt or towel. Entries are judged on creativity, quality of execution, and production quality (including writing and acting).

Perfetti jumped into action when it learned that The David Letterman Show was going to feature two men whose "Mentos Experiment" used 100 bottles of pop and 500 Mentos mints to create a multi-tiered fountain. One week before their appearance on the show, Perfetti and its agency, Chicago-based Launch Creative Marketing, set up the Mentos geyser site to tout its upcoming contest. The site pulled in e-mail addresses from 500 consumers who wanted more info when the contest launched on July 31.

Erlanger, KY-based Perfetti had already committed its marketing budget through the year, but couldn't pass up the chance to capitalize on the craze—and take ownership of many of the actual videos floating around the Internet.

"This is an excellent example of a company being smart about interacting with their target audience, and being able to act quickly," said Launch President Kevin Keating in a statement.

The contest runs through Sept. 30 on YouTube. The format suits Mentos' key audience of 15- to 34-year-olds, and its brand positioning of "absurdly fresh behavior."

"People are already embracing the brand through the craze," said Tom Baer, promotion strategy expert for Launch. "Turning it into a contest will just add to their desire to interact with the brand that much more. In today's market, where 'content is king' has turned into 'consumer-created content is king,' you have to take advantage of these opportunities when they come along."

via Promo Magazine


Marty W. said...

That clip is incredible. Strangely reminiscent of a fireworks display.

It's great to hear that a brand would rethink its committed annual budget in the interest of catching the wave of something special. Maybe that will be a standard procedure in future planning -- leaving some room to react and respond when your stuff takes off (literally)...

..or even when you're lucky enough to have something special land in your lap (like the menthos-soda pop craze).

I'm normally not a fan of "make-your-own-commercial-on-your-own-
dime-for-us-and-we'll-call-it-a-contest" tricks, but this one rose organically from the people and I think Menthos harnessed it both intelligently and appropriately. Well done.

Anonymous said...

I also tried it in my garden .My record is 2 meters ..