Although I can't tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi, I consider myself somewhat of a root beer enthusiast, and drink the stuff whenever I get a chance, although I've found it doesn't mix well with booze (any suggestions?). Living overseas for a few years in countries that, for the most part, completely lack good root beer did nothing but heighten my sense of taste for the drink. Oh, sure, Australia had its variations of ginger beer, sarsaparilla, and even one drink unfortunately labelled SARS that tasted a little bit like root beer, but none of it compared to North American Barq's or good ol' Albert & Walter's.
Now, when I first read this article about Open Source Cola I immediately thought about trying to start an open-source root beer. I'm sure it could be done with only a few simple modifications to the cola's recipe, but I don't think I'm the man to do it.
Instead, I finished the article and realized what an incredible success story the cola is. Apparently, it was created in an attempt to explain open-source software to the masses. While I'm sure it did that, it was also a hit product in itself.
We live in a world where we are becoming increasingly numb to advertising and promotional materials. Getting people to pay attention to your message means delivering it in an engaging way. The OpenCola team may not have understood this from the outset, but I'm sure they do now. The very fact that they were able to move sell 150,000 cans of the stuff is proof of this.
And now it's time for me to sit down with a big mug of frosty root beer so that I too can dream up the new advertising success story.