A few months back I ripped Dr. Pepper for running one of the most contrived music tie-in promotions I've ever seen.
This week the brand revealed a new music promotion that is so patently absurd it might be genius.
Just about any music fan or industry employee knows that the world has been waiting for 17 years for the massive rock band Guns N' Roses to release their $13 million+ new recording "Chinese Democracy." Whether or not GNR will actually ever release this money pit of a record has been an industry parlor game for years. The band has launched intermittent, controversial tours, and even performed on the MTV Music Video Awards show - all leading to speculation about album release dates and final album track listings.
Dr. Pepper decided to take that parlor game to new heights by pledging to give everyone in America a free Dr. Pepper if GNR releases "Chinese Democracy" in 2008. I find the effort to be laugh out loud funny. It's a promotion run solely to give the brand some free PR - and it's working incredibly well. The effort got coverage in the NY Post and W. Axl Rose himself has responded to the "Dr. Pepper challenge."
Here's the Dr. Pepper/GNR blog link. I give Dr. Pepper kudos for having the cojones to actually execute this effort when so many brands are plain timid. While every brand measures results based on ROI it's nice to see a fun idea with very little "I" just be allowed to have its own life
When you can even get a recluse like Axl to play along with the gag, then you know the brand struck the right tone.