The Mentos/Diet Coke Viral Lives On

In 2006 at the height of the Web 2.0 explosion, as new acronyms were flying and buzz words abound, we saw the release of one of the most successful virals ever to grace the Web. As we see in this article, two years on, the Mentos/Diet Coke geyser clip is still alive and kicking…

Inspired by a friend who told them of the explosive reactions that can take place when acids and bases mix, two creatives, Steven Voltz and Fritz Grobe, from a little known agency set about experimenting with a range of household products looking for the ultimate in combustible consumer product partenrships. Eventually they literally struck gold when they combined a bottle of Diet Coke, with the minty sweet ‘Mentos’. The resulting viral video that was filmed consisted of a feast of fantastically elaborate experiments, with fountains of exploding Coca Cola gushing in time to classical music.

The viral was an instant mega hit, receiving 10m hits and earning the pair $50,000, and a flurry of subsequent copycat videos flooded the net. Interestingly, the big brands involved kept a distance, denying sponsorship and only releasing carefully worded statements as to the fun nature of their products. Sensibly, in 2006, the marketing directors of both Coca Cola, and Perfetti Van Melle (makers of Mentos), were quoted to remark that the very source of the viral’s success was its underground status, and that the commercial influence would inevitably signal its downfall. Clearly, it was much better to freely capitalise on the consistent free promotion that was spiralling out of control amongst the expanding online video community. Since the release of the videos, Mentos claim that their sales are now up 20%, and estimate their worth at around $10m of free promotion a year.

Subsequently, both brands have moved to support the craze, featuring campaigns and funding new videos on both of their websites, but the user-generated feel has not gone away. Two years on, The Daily Mail has reported a new world record. At the University of Leuven, Belgium, 1,300 students simultaneously dropped Mentos mints in to 1,360 bottles of Diet Coke, the biggest Coke geyser ever measured, smashing the previous record of 973 bottles measured in the US.

2 thoughts on “The Mentos/Diet Coke Viral Lives On

  1. I discovered the Mentos Geyser on Steve Spangler’s blog, and you’re right – it’s tons of fun. My kids go to his website daily to find more and cooler science experiments to do and videos to watch. We especially like the fact that most of the Spangler experiments can be done with stuff I already had in the kitchen. We did purchase the geyser tubes from his site, though; they make his Mentos/diet Coke geysers a lot more fun. Seriously? Since I signed up for Steve Spangler’s Experiment of the Week, there hasn’t been a dull day in my house this summer! I found the sign-up for that right here:

    Oh, right now? He’s got his experiment where he blows the faces out of watermelons, and stacks various colored liquids on top of each other, posted on his blog. My family LOVES both of those! We saw him do it on “Ellen” and loved it.

  2. Thanks for confirming that the menots/diet coke geyser experiments are still alive! Mamcita is right on with this one… Steve Spangler was the one who caused the mentos/diet coke geyser to go viral on the internet. Here is the original video that spurred the whole thing on the NBC 9News in Denver – way back in September of 2005: Enjoy!!

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