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.


  1. Gavin Heaton wrote:

    Thanks for the support, Mark!

  2. Chris Wilson wrote:

    Thanks for your support!

    Funny. I had to keep myself from making a snide reply. 🙂 Glad I didn’t.

  3. Lid wrote:

    Welcome back 😉

    You make a good point.

    Something interesting I came across a couple of months ago was the marketing of Blogging Heroes.

    If you’re not familiar with the book, a group of bloggers were asked to create a chapter each, then the book was put on sale. Now, a smart thing that the publisher did was to ask each blogger involved to post one chapter of the book online – the chapter that they wrote.

    So while there is a complete version of the book floating around the Web most people still like the book version and pay for it – it’s nicer to snuggle down with.

    To me, that was a brilliant example of spam-proofing a product; publisher gets the buzz from the Web and the money from the sale – win-win.

  4. mark wrote:

    Hey Mark – I just wanted to say KUDOS to all of you for having the profits go to a worthwhile charity!

  5. Lilly wrote:

    Thanks for sharring the great video 🙂

    I like it. The song is great

  6. Shannon wrote:

    great video…both are making a great show only with mentos and diet coke….well, i tried it out and it works…very funny 😉

  7. Tim wrote:

    Jetzt weiss ich , wie man Wasserfeuerwerke machen kann. Grosses Amüsieren kommt.

    * Editor’s note: machine translation is:

    “Now I know how to make water fireworks. Big fun.”

  8. Dan wrote:

    well, this video is awesome…i have also tried out and it is a great fun. but you have to be careful not to use too much mentos in one bottle 😉

  9. Yac wrote:

    I never thought the diet & mentos movie can be considered as spam.
    It’s has more of viral marketing than usual spam

  10. Jesse wrote:

    I think this is a great video, You have fun doing what they do… Just try to be careful!

  11. Berny wrote:

    This is really funny!!!!
    I will show your blog to some of my friends, if it is okay?!

  12. Parrot Bluetooth wrote:

    This certainly looks pretty impressive indeed! ou make a good point. This book really looks very useful for all the online marketers for sure as also for SEO’s too! I liked this blog and so I am bookmarking it:

  13. Candice wrote:

    thats so great that you are in ch11.
    I must have or maybe even borrow a copy.


    PS, great video

  14. Runescape Forums wrote:

    Mentos + diet coke = a load of good viral advertising lol

  15. guy from Birmingham wrote:

    mentos + diet coke was a great example of viral marketing. I remember i had sent the video to all my contacts, its something that is not spam proof. I don’t there is a way to spam proof marketing.

  16. SEO Consultant wrote:

    To plan this media fuss in advance is not an easy thing, and will take a lot of investment but it is simple in theory since you just need to copy the thing that people like and have people spam all their friends – free

  17. stephanie wrote:

    It is great idea of helping the kids by buying “The Age of Conversation” and i will try to show the blog to my friend to help for the contribution.

  18. Tax Masters Review wrote:

    I wouldn’t call this “spam” although I do see your point. Interestingly enough, as a hard core direct marketer, I don’t see so much value in “awareness” as much as there is in “dollars” in my pocket.

    Call me stupid but I’ve had many videos on youtube with less than 100k views that have gotten a lot MORE clickthroughs and sales than ones that have generated TENS of millions of views.

    So, for me, its about not only the viral aspect but giving that traffic a reason to go to your site and buy something or request more information about what it is you are offering!

    Thanks for listening to me rant!

  19. SEO GTA wrote:

    I am willing to ask you why you have stopped bloggin on regular basis, man you have a nice blog gotta keep it up.

  20. mblair wrote:

    @SEO GTA – Thanks for your comment — I hope to return to a more regular schedule in the near future. This past year has been a hectic one on a number of fronts. Such a shame as there have been so many developments lately in the social media landscape that I am eager to pick apart and poke at. I am eager to get blogging worked back into my regular weekly schedule.

  21. Zara wrote:

    You know, when i saw this at you tube, even for a second I hadn’t a thought about spam! now i reflected on it a little bit… and i’m in deep dobts that in internet there is something that is not-for-spam….

  22. mmo wrote:

    how to spam proof would probably make it less interesting :). Always interesting to check out good resources for marketing, checking out Age of Conversation now.

  23. heart u 24 wrote:

    How can I find an article about this waste of time mentos diet coke investigatory project?!

  24. Dofollow Blogs wrote:

    You and your commenters make some interesting points about spamming. Obviously, everyone doesn’t agree.

    I recently read a definition that basically said spamming in an unrequested and unauthorized commercial email message.

    By the way I have you listed as a dofollow blog and send a few readers your way. I’ve linked to the page above.

    I’m in the process of updating the rankings and providing a bit of information about each site. Updates should be up by Wednesday. Let me know if you’d like to change yours.


    Linda P. Morton

  25. tire wholesale wrote:

    this is true. i never ever eat mentos and only bought them to create my own coke blasts. haha! very effective marketing strategy indeed.