Making money from Mentos
Creators of a popular online video featuring the candy and Diet Coke fountains have made nearly $30,000 in advertising.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- For most people who submit user-generated videos to sites like MySpace, YouTube or Grouper, the reward is knowing that millions of people may see your clip. You may be famous...even if it's only for a few days or weeks at most.
That's all well and good. But fame doesn't pay the rent. Now some creators of funny videos are finding ways to cash in on their newfound notoriety.
Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz, the people behind the popular viral video called the "Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments," have earned more than $28,000 from ad spots at the end of the video, according to Revver, an online video site that hosts the clip for Grobe and Voltz. The video can also be found on Grobe's and Voltz's own site, Eepybird.com, as well as many other video sites.
This isn't the first time that online video creators have made it big thanks to a video that spread like wildfire on the Web.
JibJab, the animation company that produced the insanely popular "This Land Is Your Land" cartoon in 2004 that satirized the presidential election, wound up inking a deal with Yahoo! (Charts) later in 2004 to distribute other animated shorts.
But among the upstart video sites, privately held Revver claims to be the only one that allows creators to make money after submitting their videos. Revver inserts a static one-frame ad at the end of the video that links to the advertiser's page.
Steven Starr, CEO of Revver, said in an interview that companies such as Microsoft (Charts), Time Warner's (Charts) Warner Home Video and General Electric's (Charts) Universal Pictures have bought ad space at the end of the video. (Time Warner also owns CNNMoney.com and other media properties).
Currently though, the video's exclusive advertiser is, amusingly enough, Mentos. Starr said Mentos decided to buy out the entire ad inventory because the company felt the video is great publicity for its candy.
Revver shares the ad revenues on a 50-50 basis with the video creators. So obviously the more popular a video is, the more revenue it will generate for Revver and the producers.
The Diet Coke-Mentos video, which features footage, set to pulsing dance music, of elaborately choreographed fountains of Coca-Cola's (Charts) Diet Coke spurting into the air after Mentos candy is dropped into cans and bottles - kind of like the water show at the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas - has quickly became one of the Web's bigger video hits.
According to Revver, the video has been viewed more than 5 million times since it was first posted on May 31 and Grobe and Voltz have appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman" as well as NBC's "TODAY" show to re-enact their gushing geysers of Diet Coke and Mentos.
"The attention our video has received in recent weeks has been incredible," Voltz said in a statement, adding that Eepybird.com plans on hosting other videos through Revver in the future.
Not all sites show the version of the video with the ads attached though. Some, including YouTube, strip them out.
Nonetheless, Starr of Revver said that the success of the Diet Coke-Mentos video has definitely caught the attention of other would-be filmmakers.
"We are seeing a flourishing of submissions and a couple of other creators who are starting to see some real revenue," he said.
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