In the bizarro marketing moment of the week (possibly, month), Dr. Pepper has teamed up with internet musical sensation Tay Zonday to introduce a new product called “Cherry Chocolate Rain”. Perhaps stranger than the premise, is the method by which they display the product, an absurd mock-parody rap video. Trouble is, I can’t figure out who is doing the mocking:
The original “Chocolate Rain” video created quite a splash on the internets back in April. A wave of parodies followed, as did legitimate remixes and covers. But not solely an internet fad, the song was featured in a Verizon commercial, and Tay performed it live on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
Verizon spot featuring “Chocolate Rain”. No proof if that phone is in fact the LG Chocolate.
But fame aside, I am truly confused by the Dr. Pepper video. First off, it’s a rap song, but one that clearly embraces all the stereotypes of rap videos: girls in bikinis, sunglasses and gold chains, big houses, and lots of zoomy camera angles. But it’s not a spoof, because there is a product underneath it all. Unfortunately, we don’t figure this out until over a minute in, where we see the first shot of the bottle — and then only for a split second. What sort of commercial doesn’t show the product? Perhaps a Coke or Budweiser spot, but a new product being introduced?
Additionally confusing is the very nature of this team-up. Dr. Pepper, while obscure compared to Coke and Pepsi, is an old standby in the world of soda, and therefore in the geeky world of computer programmers, internet geeks, and the video gamers — the sort who stay up late and require high levels of caffeine to function. It is not, however, a drink associated with hip-hop culture, rap music, faux-wealth, girls in bikinis or music videos. So putting all these ingredients together produces the strangest of tossed salads, in the branding sense.
What they should have done was stick to a demographic, the way that Mountain Dew did when they launched the Halo Game Fuel. They knew it was for gamer/geeks, and that’s fine.
Mountain Dew Halo Game Fuel
Is this a shameless gimmick to cash in on the latest internet fad? Are companies so desperate to get themselves on YouTube that they don’t actually think and plan? This is a brave new world, friends.
(saw this first on AmberMac)