raging cow

Dr Pepper/Seven Up enlists ‘bloggers’ to help market drink. Looking to create a nationwide buzz for a new milk-based soft drink, Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. wants young people to help spread the word over the Web. Over the next three months, the unit of Cadbury Schweppes PLC plans to provide samples of the sweetened drink, Raging Cow, to hundreds of writers of Web logs that appeal to teens and young adults.
A few thoughts: How likely is this to work? They’ve picked a core of teen bloggers and flown them to Dallas for “orientation,” given them free samples, and asked them to blog about this new drink. It’s got to be hard to do AstroTurf marketing when the process is as open as a blog is.
Second, I’ll be sure to bring this up the next time someone mentions that bloggers are all “journalists” and somehow above reproach, while Big-J Journalists are all corrupt because they work for The Man and worship at the altar of Corporate Power.
Finally, Jeff Jarvis makes a good point: But the truth is, it’s just a nitwitted marketing idea. I’ve been around media long enough to witness (and, unfortunately, pay for) lots of them. Somebody came up with this at a brainstorming meeting and nobody else had the good sense to hoot it down then. As Nick Denton once said to me: “We can’t afford brainstorming anymore.”
So true. The worst ideas I’ve ever seen have come from group meetings where someone offered up a stupid idea and no one could work up the courage to say, “No, sorry, you’re an idiot” then and there. There’s something to be said about the old hierarchical methods of killing bad ideas and promoting good ones. (That said, this seems like an idea worth trying — if only because the cost is low and the potential pay-off is big. Potential.)