Who would have thought that a few hundred dollars worth of Diet Coke and Mentos could turn into $30,000? According to this Wall Street Journal article, viral videos — which featuring explosive shots of Mentos mixed with Diet Coke — http://www.eepybird.com/ have generated several million of views. This is not uncommon for YouTube, but it's a record for Revver.com, a video-serving company that splits ad revenue 50/50 with its creators.
- In the first weeks, the creators made $15,000 of ad revenue from their videos, which included an elaborate display of 101 two-liter bottles of Diet Coke and 523 Mentos to create what WSJ called a "dancing fountain like the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas." (Click here for video). Revver made $15,000 as well, and this data is already weeks old. EepyBird is not posting its videos on YouTube or other sites, and has requested visitors not to either.
- Mentos is made by a unit of Italian confectioner Perfetti Van Melle. "We are tickled pink by it," says Pete Healy, vice president of marketing for the company's U.S. division. The company spends less than $20 million on U.S. advertising annually. He estimates the value of online buzz to be "over $10 million." He's talking about EepyBird, as well as the hundreds of other videos posted elsewhere.
- Mentos is considering a promotional campaign with the two creators of the viral videos. Diet Coke, however, is less interested. spokeswoman Susan McDermott. "We would hope people want to drink [Diet Coke] more than try experiments with it." McDermott says that the "craziness with Mentos … doesn't fit with the brand personality" of Diet Coke. (kinda reminds you of when the M&M guy passed on having his candy associated with an alien, and then Resees Pieces ate M&M's lunch by appearing on E.T.). Would Sergio have argued about brand personality? Would Sergio Zyman have turned that down?
- EepyBird's creators are Fritz Grobe, a 37-year-old professional juggler, and Stephen Voltz, 48-year-old lawyer, from Buckfield, Me. They belong to a local theater company (Oddfellow theater) and have had calls from several late-night talk shows, including CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman."
Typically it's hard to make a mint on Revver (which has limited traffic), but impossible to make money on YouTube (which doesn't share ad revenue with content creators). So how do I move from my GoogleHead, Crackberry and Burger King Outsources videos (which are somewhat popular but nothing like Eeepy) into something with wicked viral appeal?
I wonder if I lit my fart on fire with a Bic if I could get the lighter-maker to do a promotion with me. Ya think?