Coke Rocks Out- Time Will Tell

Motley Fool reports on how Coke Rocks Out by inking a deal with Apple to give away iTunes. I think it is too soon to say that Coke is rocking, and this actually shows their reluctance to embrace new media (hence posting on the Marketing that Sucks site).

The article goes on to describe how this was done a few years ago by Pepsi, and it did not do well, and that this is only being offered in Britain and Germany. These do not appear to be signs of a company that is waking up and getting marketing 2.0 or even web 2.0. The way marketing messages are distributed has changed. Not only is Coke focusing on an old and tried promotion, they are still going for the mega markets with a message controlled by big players instead of the micro markets with an empowered consumer interacting and sometimes controlling the message. A good opportunity for this came with the Mentos phenomenon:

"Even more recently, Coke showed geezer-like tendencies in shunning a popular Internet video showcasing the explosive, spectacular effects of combining Diet Coke and Mentos candies. (Fool Rich Smith believed it was an idiotic move, considering that most companies dream of free word-of-mouth advertising.) It was troubling to think that Coke just didn't get the brave new world of modern advertising, so its iTunes deal is a bit heartening."

I disagree. I think Coke still does not get it. They showed their true colors by ignoring the Mentos opportunity. They are being dragged into doing something different. They are trying to do something with new media, but are still afraid to do something new or to allow customers to have the voice. It is understandable coming from a product that has built it's business on mass advertising. For years the only difference in the brown sugar waters on the market was the advertising. Perhaps they think consumers might learn the secret that cola is but a soft drink.