Mentos, Diet Coke + The Age of Conversation

AOC BannerThe Age of Conversation re-launches today on with the Age of Conversation Bum Rush. If you haven’t bought or borrowed a copy yet and are wondering what all the tweets, twits and talk is about, let me fill in the blanks:

The Age of Conversation is an anthology of the bite-size nuggets of new media insights from 100+ marketing bloggers. If you’ve already got a copy, you can find me in chapter #11.

All the profits go to Variety, The Children’s Charity. If you buy a copy, you won’t make my wallet any heavier but you’ll help some kids that really need it. Chris Wilson is spearheading the bum rush, and they’ve gotten it up as high as #53 at Amazon’s business section. It looks like it has slid a bit to #57. If you own a copy already, I’m sure adding your review over there would help people that are pondering whether to buy it or not.

It’s been interesting to read some of the comments over at the thread on Digg. As marketing dynamics transform from a world one-to-many messages to many-to-many, how is spam going to be socially defined?

Can you make spam easier to swallow?


The social definition of spam is important for any marketer to follow. Some things are clear cut – Nigerian scams, male “improvement” and penny-stock recommendations. Others lead to fuzzier, more subjective interpretations. In the case of The Age of Conversation, poettheunclothed, a Digg commenter notes on the Digg post for the bum rush that “If I can’t read it free online then it is spam”. That is a really good point and something I’ll bet a lot of Digg users agree with in principle.

No doubt there are some that have a slightly different threshold and acknowledging that all the profits in this case go to a charity, are able to resist the bury button.
I do wonder though, if there was, say, an article about a Pink Floyd reunion tour whether we’d see the same kind of treatment in regards to spam and such – even though they’d be inadvertently helping to engorge music industry fat cats along the way. I suspect not, but will have to poke around and look for some examples when I have a bit more time. If any of you have any to share, please leave them in the comments.

Of course, one the most compelling aspect of Digg is how cold-hearted and snide some of the users are. A healthy portion of the comment threads feel like watching a train starting to careen off the tracks. In many ways Digg isn’t a social news site as much as an entertainment site — I think it is a vital part of their brand

Mentos + Diet Coke = The best spam ever

The brains of millions have had the brand Mentos indelibly etched upon them through the massive success of Mentos/Diet Coke mashups such as this one that has been viewed 5 ½ million times on YouTube:


I remember how many emails I’d get from friends, associates and clients that said I just “had to see it”. I didn’t ask for the emails – I hadn’t opted-in. Yet here I was watching video after video of people making veritable symphonies out of Mentos and Diet Coke.

I didn’t have to pay anything… or did I?

Marketers trade in attention — in this case not only did 5 ½ million people pay their attention willingly; a critical mass of them invested their efforts in “spamming” everyone on their contact list.

I’d love to hear some comments about how to “spam-proof” your marketing. This is something I’m going to take up in more depth in a future article and I would love to hear your insights.